Going Green: Easter celebrations with eco-friendly money-saving tips

Green Easter with eco-friendly Easter eggs (photo: adobe)Green Easter with eco-friendly Easter eggs (photo: adobe)
Green Easter with eco-friendly Easter eggs (photo: adobe)

latest article from Angela Terry

Green Green campaigner and consumer expert, Angela Terry, separates climate change facts from fiction and here she explains how you can take simple, practical steps to help save the planet. Follow @ouronehome & visit https://onehome.org.uk/ for more advice.

Q: How do I have an eco-friendly Easter?

A :You can easily green up your Easter celebrations.

You’ll have just as much fun – and save money!

Here are some ideas ...

Chocolate eggs

When buying chocolate eggs, take a good look at the packaging.

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Green Easter with eco-friendly Easter eggs (photo: adobe)Green Easter with eco-friendly Easter eggs (photo: adobe)
Green Easter with eco-friendly Easter eggs (photo: adobe)

Try to avoid hard plastic eggs or toys.Some companies have made an effort to make their packaging more eco-friendly – like British brand Montezuma.

Even its glues and tape are sustainable.

When it comes to the contents, try and opt for Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance certified chocolate, because the cocoa’s farmed using methods that don’t cause deforestation.

Look on the Fairtrade website for more information.

Good value options include Aldi’s Choco Changer Salted Caramel Egg (£3.99), Lidl’s Deluxe Salted Caramel Premium Egg (£3.99) and the Co-op’s Irresistible Fair Trade Hot Cross Bun Egg (£6).

Look out too for the first ever plant-based – and ultra-eco-friendly – crème egg!

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Made with oat milk, it’s £5 for five eggs from Mummy Meegz – a small company founded by a 74-year-old Yorkshire café owner.

Easter lunch

Spring lambs are super cute and many people think they’re also super tasty.

But could you go meat-free for your Easter Sunday lunch?

It’d significantly reduce your meal’s carbon footprint – and save you money!

The BBC has a great range of meat-free Easter lunch main course recipes online, including a spring veggie casserole with herb dumplings.

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If you want to really green your lunch, you could make it plant-based.

The Veganuary website has great Easter recipes, including shepherd’s pie and hot cross buns.

Easter egg hunt

Having an eco-friendly Easter egg hunt is all about getting crafty.

If you want to use real eggs, try to buy them from a local farmer and colour them using natural dyes, so you can compost the shells or put them in your food waste bin.

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Lots of websites have info on how to make dyes from kitchen scraps, like cabbage heads, onion skins and beetroot peelings, including Martha Stewart’s. It’s a great holiday activity with kids!

If you prefer to use reusable ‘eggs’ that you can fill with chocolate treats, please try to avoid the plastic ones. You can now buy hollow wooden eggs, which children can paint and use again next year. Etsy is a good place to find such things.

Great outdoors

As the weather improves, now’s the time to get your family out into the countryside. Switch off those games consoles, smartphones and computers and go for a long walk. It’s free and great for everyone’s health and wellbeing.

Celebrity spot

Feargal Sharkey once sang Teenage Kicks.

Fergal Sharkey campaigns against river pollution by farms and water companies (photo: MJ Kim/Getty Images)Fergal Sharkey campaigns against river pollution by farms and water companies (photo: MJ Kim/Getty Images)
Fergal Sharkey campaigns against river pollution by farms and water companies (photo: MJ Kim/Getty Images)

These days he is more concerned with sewage spills.

Chairman of England’s oldest fly-fishing club, the 63 year-old campaigns against river pollution by farms and water companies. He has a battle on his hands.

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Every English river is polluted. In Wales, 56 percent of rivers don’t meet standards.

In Scotland conservationists talk about introducing river ‘sewage police’. More than seven million tonnes of sewage spill annually into Sharkey’s native Northern Ireland waterways.

Green swap

Swap dairy milk latte for oat milk.

Try making latte with oat milk (photo: adobe)Try making latte with oat milk (photo: adobe)
Try making latte with oat milk (photo: adobe)

In terms of greenhouse gases, 200 millilitre glass of cow’s milk creates around 0.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

Same amount of oat milk produces 0.18 kg. A dairy latte’s carbon footprint is more than three times bigger.

Ever wondered ... where does my recycling go?

Waste recycling (photo: adobe)Waste recycling (photo: adobe)
Waste recycling (photo: adobe)

The UK generates 222.2 million tonnes of waste each year.

It’s all got to go somewhere.

But where?

How much of our rubbish is recycled?

Not as much as it should be!

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The household recycling rate in England is 43.8 per cent – meaning it’s missed its target of 50 per cent by 2020.

In Scotland, the 2020 target was 60 per cent but rates are currently 42 per cent.

Northern Ireland managed to hit its 2020 50 per cent rate – but star prize goes to the Welsh.

They set the highest target, of 64 per cent, and exceeded it by one per cent.

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For the UK overall, this means about half of our waste still goes to landfill or an incinerator.

As for the half that’s supposedly recycled, what happens to it isn’t as straightforward as you might hope.Plastic

From the UK we send over three and a half Olympic swimming pools of plastic rubbish to other countries every day.

A Greenpeace investigation showed that over half the plastic the UK Government says is recycled actually ends up overseas.

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We don’t know what then happens to it, as there are no checks in place.

The destination of our old plastic has changed several times – as countries become fed up with taking other people’s rubbish. For example, until 2017 China took most of the world’s plastic waste but then banned such imports.

At the moment, we send about half of our plastic ‘recycling’ to Turkey and Malaysia.Paper

Recycling is an intrinsic part of modern paper production.

Around 80 per cent of UK-made paper uses paper recovered from household waste.

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However, as more people have recycled, the number of UK paper mills has fallen, meaning the amount of paper waste being sent overseas has increased.

More than half of the paper collected for recycling in the UK is now re-processed overseas.Glass and metals

Glass is 100 per cent recyclable.

Its green credentials are fantastic.

Aluminium drinks cans and food tins can also be melted down and remade into new things.

For these materials, much of the recycling is done in the UK.

What to do

First up, please don’t stop recycling!

But try to see it as a last resort.

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Make your mantra ‘reduce and reuse’. Try to avoid single-use plastics as much as possible.

Buy loose fruit and veg. Carry a reusable bag. Buy from local shops when you can instead of the Internet.

Look online for zero waste living ideas.

Fact or fiction

Lawn is good for the environment.

Not always!

Better than concrete or plastic grass, but not great for essential insects and wildlife. Diversity is key to healthy ecosystems, so let a corner of your garden go wild. You’ll have less mowing!

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