Plan a natural, ethical Easter celebration this year
Easter is often a difficult time for eco friendly parents wanting to make an positive choice. Shops are full of chocolate Easter eggs and ‘treats’; most of which are high in sugar, fat and chemicals and low on environmental sustainability.
Conventional chocolate Easter goodies come with a few ethical problems.
1- There is excessive packaging to be disposed of – usually plastic and foil that hangs around in the landfill.
2- Cocoa is sprayed with a wide range of pesticides. Exposure to these pesticides can result in serious health problems. This includes you and your children when you ingest the chocolate, as well as the farmers who have to spray the crop.
In addition, these pesticides pollute the water, soil and air. They affect wildlife, destroy vegetation and reduce fish stock.
3- Unless you buy Fair Trade, the working conditions for cocoa farmers is poor. Often, there is not enough money to be made, so workers have to keep their children out of school to help them. These children miss out on an education and are often working in dangerous conditions.
4- Thousands of men, women and children are trafficked within their own countries and across international borders every year.
Nearly half the world’s chocolate is made from cocoa grown in the Cote D’Ivoire, in Africa.
12,000 children have been trafficked into cocoa farms in Cote D’Ivoire. You can read more about the ‘Stop the Traffik‘ Chocolate campaign on their site.
You don’t have to give up your favourite treat, but you can buy with conscience and choose to only eat chocolate that is guaranteed to be ‘Traffik Free’, organic and fair trade. You can download a list of ‘traffik free’ chocolate to enjoy when you visit the website.
This does reduce your choice somewhat, but at least you will be buying with a clear conscience and will be voting with your money.
If you want to read more about the cocoa industry, then buy a copy of this book:
Bitter Chocolate: The Dark Side of the World’s Most Seductive SweetPrice: £14.06 GBP
Another idea is to forgo so much chocolate and find other ways to celebrate. Children love to get creative and spend quality time with their family. So why not get together and dye your own easter eggs, using natural dyes such as turmeric, red cabbage and onion skins? You can create beautiful subtle hues that make a stunning centre piece.
With these eggs you can make your own ‘Easter Tree’ by hanging them onto some branches in a big vase on your dining table.
If you send your kids on an Easter Egg hunt each year, why not get more imaginative with the things they have to ‘hunt’ for? You could make it into more of a treasure hunt than an egg hunt and hide things to make up a nature table such as felt animals, home made playdough that can then be made into Easter animals, or flower fairies made from felt. Check out our recent post “Choose ethical, sustainable toys and decorations this Easter”
A wonderful and meaningful way to celebrate Easter is to sow seeds. Choose things that are child friendly, such as sunflowers or for little ones, sprinkle cress seeds or grass seeds onto pine cones and let them spray with water each day until the crop grows. This is a great introduction to gardening!
Alternatively, have a go at making your own baskets, Myriadonline sell a gorgeous model apple basket kit and a small basket making kit. Or you could have a go at origami.
Finally, if you are just too busy to be able to put your mind to this, then why not visit Ethical Party Bags. This year, Anna (who I can personally vouch for after getting Little Miss Green some party bags from her) has come up with two lovely Easter goodies:
1- A gorgeous fairly traded bag in a range of easter colours, filled with a papier mache decorated egg made from recycled paper, and 3 Fairtrade mini chocolate eggs.
2- In the same range, Anna is offering a delightful, fairly traded, papier mache decorated little chick box made from recycled paper. Perfect for stowing away little treasures!
Finally, a gorgeous book that always fills me with inspiration. Do treat yourself to a copy sometime, if celebrating the festivals with your family is something you would like to do more of. Just click on the picture to buy!
Lowest used price: £7.37 GBP
I hope this has inspired you to create a meaningful, eco friendly Easter celebration this year. What are your ideas for bringing meaning, reverence and ritual to this festival? I’d love to hear them!