Saturday, April 9, 2022

Have Yourself an Eco Easter & Planet Friendly Passover

Spring has sprung as evident with the popping of flowers and the warming of the weather. We all are probably ready to bid winter "adieu!"

With Easter ahead next weekend and Passover starting the 15th, folks are probably starting to get preparations in order. Here are a few ways to get a sustainable start to your holiday festivities ahead:

Celebrations in General--including Passover Seders:

  • Cook less to have less food waste. Do we really need all those sides? Do we really eat all those leftovers? Plus it saves money and calories! And, if you do have leftovers, focus on eliminating those first with your next meal plans!
  • Eat fresh and go plant-based when you can. Less of an impact on meat is always a healthier approach to the planet. Organic for the win!
  • Candles make it cozy. Go for the eco-friendly variety and save some electricity with more lights out and build an ambiance.
  • Decorate with natural items: plants make a beautiful table setting.
  • Cut back on the plastic where you can. Whether that's cups, cutlery, or plates, less plastic always makes things more eco-friendly. Reusable items and washing those dishes is the better plan here. If that doesn't work, go with something that composts or biodegrades.
  • Go for zero-waste. If you are Jewish and turning over your kitchen to rid your home of grain items or only have kosher items on hand, give away the food you are eliminating. Donate unopened items to food kitchens or shelters. Plan early to reduce shopping for items you'll soon be wanting to remove.
  • Tupperware items are always better than baggies and wraps when it does come to leftovers. Not only will it keep the plastic from leaching into your food (which is healthier for your body), but it saves valuable petroleum for something other than purchased throw-away plastic!

Easter Specific:

  • Save those plastic eggs from year to year. Yes, it's fun to go on that Easter egg hunt, but you'll save money and resources when you can pull out that saved stash of eggs from year to year. Or, repurpose them into a DIY Easter wreath or centerpiece decorations. You also might be interested in investigating these plant-based eggs where no plastic was used in their creation.
  • Same goes for Easter baskets. They don't have to come cellophane wrapped and new each year! Reusable baskets wooden or wicker baskets work just as well and can make for part of the annual tradition. 
  • Likewise, Easter grass for those baskets does not have to be green plastic strips. That plastic grass won't recycle and will just fill a landfill. Plus, it gets all over the place. Instead use crinkled paper grass which biodegrades. Or, use seed-paper to create your own grass/basket filling!
  • Who says an Easter hunt has to be eggs. Scavenger hunts can come in all shapes and sizes. They can include small meaningful toys (don't just buy junk at the dollar store) or self-created coupons for fun surprises or events! Also, create a list of natural items like certain leaves, acorns, pinecones, and more to make it a memorable outdoor event to connect to nature.
  • Individually wrapped candy creates a bounty of packaging waste--most of it plastic and not recyclable. Consider making tasty treats instead! Along the way, Fair Trade Chocolate is also more planet-friendly.
  • Cheap disposable decorations are just that--cheap and disposable. Decorate with natural elements. Use cloth table cloths. Think outside the single use throwaway posters and cutouts.
  • Use natural dyes when coloring your eggs. Steer clear of the plastic wrapped paint pellets that we see so often on the shelves and rely on some of the recipes linked above. Plus it is a good way to do some science experiments with your littles and have them literally thinking outside the egg dye box!
  • When buying eggs, go for the compostable cardboard egg cartons versus styrofoam, which never biodegrades. 

Many thanks to these resources for the above ideas: 

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