Everyone’s favourite holiday is fast approaching, and while Easter is a time to spend with family, it’s also a pretty indulgent excuse to eat a lot of chocolate! We don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but the majority of those shiny sweets may be impacting a lot more than your blood sugar levels.
So before the hunt begins, we’ve rounded up a few helpful tips you can pass onto the Easter Bunny this year.
Hand out (or hide) fair trade eggs
Shopping during Easter is an especially tempting time. Supermarket aisles are filled with brightly wrapped chocolate eggs, bunnies and hampers – all just waiting to be gobbled up. But sadly, a dark side lies beneath the animated shelves. According to the Food Empowerment Project, around 70% of cocoa beans come from West Africa, where children, many between the ages of 12-16 – and some as young as 5 years, old are taken from their families to work as labourers in cocoa harvesting.
This is unjust and we can help make a difference by purchasing chocolate that is free from the use of forced child and trafficked labour. It can be tricky to navigate the various labels and certifications, but we’ve found the Found Empowerment Project chocolate list to be comprehensive.
Opt for palm oil free Easter eggs
It’s always a good idea that the Easter Bunny is mindful of what ingredients are being used in their delicious handpicked treats. Unfortunately, a lot of hot cross buns and chocolate eggs sold across Australia contain palm oil (some traceable and some not). Palm oil growth is sadly one of the main causes of deforestation, negatively impacting the habitats of endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran and Bornean orangutan, Bornean pygmy elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros and the Malayan sun bear.
To help save these endangered species and preserve their natural habits, try to source your eggs (and food) from manufacturers who are palm oil free.
Try dairy-free chocolate and baked goods
Did you know that going dairy-free is not only beneficial to your own health, it is also beneficial to the environment? The dairy industry puts great strain on our beloved earth, as it is both land and water intensive, producing a huge amount of waste product such as methane and excrement.
Also, unbeknownst to many dairy consumers, approximately 700,000 dairy calves, also known as ‘bobby calves’, are slaughtered every year in Australia. They are purposely born so that their mothers keep producing milk. Sadly, it is standard industry practice for these calves to be taken from their grieving mothers and slaughtered before they reach a week old.
Going dairy-free means you are giving these beautiful animals a better quality of life and reducing your carbon footprint.
Make your own ethical Easter basket
This is a great chance for you to not only show off your creative flair but also kick start your sustainable, ethical Easter tradition!
You can use a traditional wicker basket or a DIY Easter box. Fill it with a handpicked selection of ethically sourced Easter eggs, bunnies and bilbies. If your basket is for kids, why not add some plush organic toys and decorative straw. For adults, turn it into a pamper hamper by adding certified organic candles and body care products.