E.A.S.T.E.R [Easy, Affordable, Sustainability Tips – Easter Related]
Easter: the wonderful time of year when all diets go out the window and the temptation to eat twice your body weight in chocolate is almost unavoidable.
It’s a weekend that for many is filled with family and friends, lots of food (even of the non-chocolate variety) and perhaps even some time away, exploring some of our beautiful country’s nature spots.
If you’re anything like us (and we’re guessing you are, since you’re on a website dedicated to ecotourism), you love nature. You may have even wondered how you could make this Easter weekend one that has a minimal impact on the environment.
Whether that thought has crossed your mind or not, we thought we’d share with you some of our favourite ways to enjoy an eco-friendly Easter – no matter whether you’re celebrating in your backyard, or in the great outdoors
1. Recycle your wrappers
Did you know that your colourful Easter Egg wrappers can be recycled into anything from aluminium foil to baseball bats? ACT No Waste suggest scrunching it up into big balls before you throw it into your yellow bin. Don’t forget to throw your cardboard, rigid plastic containers and glass bottles in there too.
2. Do as the Germans do
Germans have many interesting traditions, including decorating their homes for all kinds of festive seasons. Easter is no exception, with many Germans displaying an Oster Strauch, or Easter shrub, in their home. These are super easy to make – all you need is a nice stick or piece of shrubbery and some eggs. And, whilst you may not be keen to try the traditional egg-blowing method below, you can also decorate your shrub with wooden or chocolate Easter Eggs.
How to make traditional hand-painted Easter eggs:
1. Make a hole at the top and bottom of a large, free range egg
2. Carefully blow out the contents.
3. Allow the eggshell to dry
4. Gently decorate it with brightly coloured paints or felt-tips
5. Add some glitter or recycled ribbons – whatever you can ‘lay’ your hands on.
[Of course, if you do go with the traditional egg-blowing method, make sure you use the eggs too and not just the shells!]
3. Bilbies, not bunnies
In the words of Australian Geographic, rabbits are cute, fluffy and out of control. Whilst in chocolate form they’re harmless (well, to the environment at least), rabbits in the wild are a huge contributor to species loss in Australia.
To keep enjoying chocolate but contribute to conservation at the same time, why not switch to buying chocolate bilbies? Make sure the brand you buy supports the Save the Bilby Fund so that you can ensure your money is helping to keep this Australian icon – which has existed in mainland Australia for about 15 million years! – around.
4. Get your saucepan out
Eggs don’t need to all be chocolate. Why not use boiled (free range!) eggs instead of chocolate and spend some time painting or dying them in fun colours? Not only is this a healthier option that creates less rubbish; it’s also a fun way to be crafty and creative.
Do you organise Easter Egg hunts for your kids? Why not teach them about the environment as they go? Incorporate a nature-based scavenger hunt in their Easter Egg hunt – and give bonus points for different nature elements collected.
Also, use a saucepan, Tupperware container or bowl from your kitchen, rather than buying a basket from the shops to collect these items (and eggs!). Kids won’t care, and you will be subtly ingraining in them the idea of reduce – reuse – recycle.
Happy Easter from all the team at Ecotourism Australia!
[Photos from: Australian Geographic, Save the Bilbies, Kitchen Project, Reuters / Kai Pfaffenback, Oesterreichisches Rotes Kreuz, Plasgram the Recycling Specialists, MomJunction, The Australian Reptile Park]