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Tips for a more sustainable and meaningful Easter

Author: Sarah Parkinson, TEAR Advocacy volunteer

Easter is the heart of our Christian calendar, when we reflect on Jesus’ life and his ultimate, redemptive sacrifice. This is a time when many of us gather with loved ones around the table to share food and fellowship. During his ministry here on Earth, Jesus himself demonstrated his power to renew and restore the broken through the sharing of food, culminating in the enduring symbolism of Last Supper.

When we consider that food is a precious gift from God, and that He calls us to play our part in His renewal of all things - including our food systems - we are challenged to think differently about how and what we eat. What better time to think about how we might participate in the restoration of our food system than at Easter, the celebration of the greatest restoration story?

Here are five top food-related tips for a more sustainable (and meaningful!) Easter:

1. Be a good egg and buy good eggs!

Little ones and big ones alike are full of egg-citement for Easter egg hunts and chocolate. The reality is that the chocolate industry has been under scrutiny for years for its negative environmental and human impacts, but there are ethical options! When buying your eggs this Easter, look for Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, or Palm Oil Free chocolate. Why?

Easter Eggs Chocolate
  • Choose Certified Organic because it means the cocoa beans used in the production of chocolate haven’t been sprayed with pesticides that are harmful to the environment.
  • Choose Fairtrade because it guarantees that the farmers and factory workers who’ve been involved in the production of the chocolate have been paid fair wages, ensuring a better quality of life for the people who’ve made our sweets.
  • Choose Rainforest Alliance because it means the cocoa plantations comply with sustainable farming principles such as biodiversity conservation and natural resource conservation.
  • Choose Palm Oil Free because the deforestation associated with palm oil production (the most widely used vegetable oil, found in approximately 50% of packaged products in our supermarkets, including lots of chocolates) is devastating swathes of forests in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil, contributing to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Check out up-to-date Easter egg recommendations from Fairtrade Australia New Zealand.

2. Reduce and recycle packaging

  • Choose Easter treats with less (or no) packaging to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill and the amount of energy and materials we use to generate our foods.
  • Recycle your Easter egg foil wrappers - yes, they’re recyclable! However, small pieces of aluminium foil aren’t big enough to be captured properly in the recycling process, so scrunch all the pieces together in a ball before recycling. You might want to place a bowl on the table to collect everyone’s wrappers. Here’s a how-to video on Easter egg foil recycling.

3. Buy ethical, local, sustainable produce

  • Making a locally-grown family Easter meal reduces your food miles and carbon footprint. If you eat eggs and/or meat, choose organic and free-range options from local sources.
  • If fish is an important part of your Easter celebration as it is for many Christians, make sure it’s sustainably-sourced by checking Australia's Sustainable Seafood Guide.
  • Alternatively, you may choose to prepare a plant-based meal this Easter as reducing meat intake is associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions and hence benefits the planet.
Story Easter Eggs Creative

4. Get creative!

  • Rather than buying Easter decorations, create your own with hand-painted eggs - a great school holiday activity! Try to source local, free-range eggs. Blown (or hollow) eggs can be used as Easter decorations year after year, and the leftover egg whites and yolks can be used for cooking, reducing your food waste and its impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. When dyeing your eggs, skip the chemical colouring, and create your own dyes out of vinegar, produce and spices such as turmeric, red cabbage or beetroot. Learn how to blow out your own Easter eggs.
  • Bake, rather than buy, hot cross buns! Using ethically sourced ingredients (made easier with the Shop Ethical Guide) and avoiding packaging makes for a more sustainable variety of this traditional Easter treat! For a tested and tried recipe, check out this one on Taste.com.au.

5. Say a new grace

Lord,

This food is a precious gift
and we give you thanks.

In our gratitude
make us also mindful
of the instruments of your provision
that have helped to bring this food to our table:

The people who farm and process;
the sun, the rain, and all the riches
of this glorious earth
You have entrusted to our care.

As we take and eat,
as in all our living and breathing,
let us seek to be loving neighbours
and faithful stewards.

For your purpose and your glory,
Amen

Share with us!

Do you have more handy tips, or Easter food stories to share? We’d love to hear them!

Want to learn more?

TEAR has produced its The Future of Food report to help you understand more about food, hunger, climate change and the part we can play in transforming our food system to be more sustainable.

READ THE REPORT