As the great countdown to chocolate splurging begins, take a moment to think about the impact of your Easter celebrations. By choosing quality products, keeping an eye on unnecessary waste and reigning in the madness, it is possible to have an ethical Easter with everything you love and more.
When it comes to buying Easter eggs for family and loved ones, remember less is more. No one really wants stacks of chocolate, even those who think they really, really do. Choose one small, high-quality egg-type thing for each person – they will enjoy it more, I promise! Cheap chocolate tastes like crap and is full of preservatives, soy and other rubbish, so stick to the good stuff.
If you want to do an Easter-egg hunt, mix it up with some blown eggs and a small number of mini foil-wrapped eggs. You could wrap stones in foil or paint them, making it more about the thrill of the chase than the bellyache and chocolate-related nagging for the next few weeks. (And make sure you look the part with this fairly traded jute basket made by impoverished Bangladeshi women… just saying.)
Always, always choose chocolate that is marked Fair Trade or appears on the World Vision Good Chocolate Guide to Australia. The opposite of fair trade is forced labour, child workers and farmers being ripped off or worse in the developing nations where cacao is like gold.
Remember to recycle any foil or cardboard packaging and say no to anything that is over-wrapped in non-recycleable plastic.
It is all about the eggs
As someone who took complete leave of her senses last year, trust me when I say do not go shopping for Easter eggs the night before Good Friday. Talk about panic-buying. I came home with an over-packaged, Spiderman egg pack for my son, complete with rubbish chocolate and melamine crockery set. Believe me when I say, he will be using that cup, bowl and spoon until he is 25 to make up for my eco-fail.
While the most ethical, sustainable and good-karma-bringing option is to buy a real chicken for someone who really needs it, if you’re going to go down the Easter egg route, just stick to the chocolate. Don’t get suckered into buying a bunch of plastic crap that will break or be discarded five minutes after a sugar comedown.
To avoid panic buying or being stuck with limited choices, get your Easter shopping out of the way early and then close your eyes every time you near a checkout until Easter Sunday.
Although the main ingredient will come from overseas, where possible buy Aussie made. My local organic shop stocks these organic, dark chocolate, Australian made, dairy-free eggs, which you can also buy from Biome here. Darrell Lea is another local chocolatier that could use your support after nearly going bust last year, see their Easter range here.
Remember that supermarkets and discount department stores aren’t the only places to buy Easter eggs, try your deli, independent food store, greengrocer, health-food shop or market.
Why not make your own?
I still remember the gooey goodness of homemade caramel-centred chocolate bunnies made by a family friend on our trips to Jindabyne as a kid. I also remember the state of my little sister’s face after she ate them… priceless.
You could go for a traditional melted-chocolate-egg-mould type affair (remember, it’s only as good as the quality of your ingredients) or get creative. Keep it simple and whole with this great recipe from Additive Free Bites, or try raw hazelnut chocolates with this recipe by Raw Food Mum. Sonia at Natural New Age Mum has a fantastic roundup of DIY Easter eggs, check it out here.
Wishing you a happy, healthy Easter, wrapped in recyclable materials… x