ecostore New Zealand Blog
One of the earliest origins of Easter was as a ritual to celebrate the beginning of spring, which in the Northern hemisphere is at the end of March, around the spring equinox, when the days and nights are of equal length. Traditionally of course, spring is a time of new life, abundance and vigorous growth which is why we have such well-known symbols of fertility associated with Easter, like rabbits and eggs. I find there is a bit of a disconnect with these symbols here in the Southern hemisphere, where we are in the early stages of Autumn, but does it really matter? Let us know what you think. Meanwhile, here are some thoughts to steer you in the direction of a greener Easter this year.
Easy Easter projects with the kids
Egg shell pots for seedlings
Plant fast growing seeds like mustard and cress inside eggshells and then draw faces on the shells with a felt tip pen. When the young shoots start to grow they look like ‘hair’. You can then give them a haircut and use the tiny shoots in sandwiches, omelets or scrambled eggs! Click here for step by step instructions.
Decorating (free range) hard-boiled eggs is a lot of fun and there is a huge variety of natural things like onion skins, turmeric or red cabbage that you can use to dye them with. The main thing is to let your imagination run loose and have fun experimenting.We found a great video with step by step instructions – click here for video on curby.com
Hunting for (healthier) easter eggs?
Chocolate rabbits and easter eggs come in a variety of colours from the much healthier dark chocolate through to the wickedly white stuff and if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, we even get chocolates inside other chocolates! The good news is that in a study carried out at the University of Glasgow, dark chocolate was found to boost blood antioxidant levels by nearly 20% – the not so great news is that the milk in milk chocolate makes the antioxidants almost impossible to absorb, so its best to try to keep milk chocolate to a minimum. Carob eggs are another deliciously healthy choice and are available in many health food stores and for an ethical healthy, and delicious choice – you can’t go past fairtrade chocolate. When you choose Fairtrade certified chocolate you’re helping create a better and brighter future for farmers, workers and their families. Fairtrade makes sure they get a fair price as well as additional funds to develop their communities and invest in education and healthcare.
What to do about packaging
Simply being conscious about packaging helps – try to avoid the over-packaged chocolate eggs and rabbits inside those hard plastic cases, (in studies of some of the worst cases the easter egg was found to take up only 10% of the space in the box it was sold in). Use your shopping dollar to send a message to those companies with excessive packaging and the retailers who sell them, by opting for packaging that is recyclable or reusable.
Other useful sites:
ecostore’s Easter Green Guide (E.G.G) on Pinterest – we have a beautiful selection of ideas we’ve gathered together from our favourite sites, come and check it out.
The Fairtrade website For a great list of Fairtrade Certified chocolate – including great brands such as Green and Black’s organic, Scarborough Fair and Whittaker’s. This site also gives you a full list of retailers and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many choices there are at your local supermarket.
Palm oil free Easter Goodie Guide (Downloadable PDF)
If you have other ideas to add to our ‘Easter green guide’ or EGG, we’d love to hear them, so please leave your comments below 🙂