Easter: A rotten egg

Aimee. (2019, April 22). [Plastic Easter egg seed planter] [Photograph] The Crazy Craft Lady. https://thecrazycraftlady.com/not-just-for-easter-unexpected-uses-for-plastic-easter-eggs/

Each holiday brings a different celebration, Easter- a celebration of rebirth and revival- brings its challenges as well. There is no avoiding plastic pollution in today’s modern society, especially when a large number of people celebrate the holiday. An estimated 30% of people worldwide are Christians (embodying most or all denominations) and in the United States, roughly 71% (~236,000,000 people) of Americans affiliate with Christianity- a statistic taken from Pew Research Center.  With Easter being a Christian holiday, these statistics can help determine the number of people celebrating and therefore contributing to higher pollution rates. Pollution during Easter could be caused by a number of things, from buying plastic eggs to choosing appropriate candy to give out. Ultimately, certain decisions leading up to the faithful day end up damaging the environment; however, there are ways that can create an eco-friendly easter!

Common affiliates with Easter are plastic eggs that can be stuffed with little toys or plastic grass. The issue with plastic eggs being bought in large quantities and never used again is the high probability that single-used eggs end up in a landfill being decomposed hundreds of years later. In the early 200s, “a company called Peoria Plastics a subsidiary of Bleyer Industries, once completely dominated plastic egg manufacturing in the United States, producing as many as 250 million a year” (Leonard, 2010). The scary reality of this situation is that in just 10 years the population of the US grew about 100 million. The demand for these little eggs can only rise, creating more unnecessary pollution for the Earth. These colorful eggs do not need to be served as single-use, for just one egg hunt a year and reused the next year. Save them! The best way to reduce plastic waste during the holiday season is to not buy unnecessary items that may cause more waste. Save the plastic Easter eggs for the following years or try doing some DIY crafts that can help revamp the life of the eggs. Aimee from “The Crazy Craft Lady” shared some fun craft ideas to reuse the plastic eggs. A fun way to include egg hunting but without the plastic hassle is to use painted eggs that can later be used in meals. Every part of the egg is used and can still be composed to help plants grow. Truly a win-win! 

Clearfield, R. (2017). [Painted plastic easter egg DIY] [Photograph]. Rose Clearfield. https://www.roseclearfield.com/diy-pastel-painted-speckled-plastic-easter-eggs/

The stuffings of the eggs themselves can create a plastic frenzy. The plastic egg- a staple eggs stuffer- can be replaceable with more eco-friendly ideas. A quick and effective way of substituting the grass is shredding unused construction paper. Or, opt for eco grass that can be recycled. They come in different color variations that are suitable for every egg situation. One can also help grow some flowers using seed-infused paper, when used, can be planted and be used to grow various seeds. It is a quick and fun way to spice up the Easter season.

Candy during holiday seasons is always tricky because it can be difficult to find the best brand. The main issue with Easter and candy is the risk of environmental damage and exploitation of ecosystems in agricultural areas. The chocolate industry has not been kind to the environment because of the large amounts of plastic and minerals involved in its process of production, and the damage resulting to the environment. The cheap and fast production of chocolate can lead to “widespread poverty, deforestation, forced labor” (Fair Trade America). Deforestation is the main issue with cocoa production; hectares of land that are used for monoculture. These hectares of land could damage ecosystems that are needed for endangered animals and plants. In order to overcome this issue, organizations have been founded to make sure these ethical issues do not arise. FairTrade America has an affiliation with brands such as Chocolate Stella, Jelina Chocolatier, and other non-chocolate companies like Ben and Jerry’s. Their logo ensures that “you are standing up for the people and places involved in the cocoa industry”(FairTrade America).

Bloomin. (2020). [Seed paper] [Photograph]. Bloomin. https://www.bloomin.com/our-seed-paper/

Plastic packaging is an issue that cannot be avoided. Chocolate eggs and other candies come with them. Unfortunately, such packaging cannot be substituted, especially in our current tough times. It is important, however, to realize how such little packaging can have a big impact on the environment. In 2018, “The Sun”, a UK news source, claims that during Easter 3,000 tonnes of packaging is thrown out. Michael Gove and Jo Swinson “revealed 148 million hollow eggs are sold per year… content on average 22g of plastic… [amounting] to more than 3,000 tonnes per year” (Davidson, 2018). This number can only be estimated to be higher in the United States because of the larger population compared to the UK. 

Celebrating holidays should be in no way limited but rather reinvented to fit the times. There are customs that need revamping. Plastic waste is unavoidable but can be restricted. During the next holiday season, make sure to follow eco-friendly advice and encourage others to do the same because simple actions can make a lasting impact on the environment and the earth that we all share. 

Works Cited

“Bittersweet: Chocolate’s Impact on the Environment.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, http://www.worldwildlife.org/magazine/issues/spring-2017/articles/bittersweet-chocolate-s-impact-on-the-environment.

“Chocolate.” Fairtrade America, 6 Apr. 2021, http://www.fairtradeamerica.org/shop-fairtrade/fairtrade-products/chocolate/.

Kristen. “How to Have an Eco-Friendly Easter.” Earth Friendly Tips, 21 Mar. 2021, earthfriendlytips.com/how-to-have-an-eco-friendly-easter/.

Lynn Davidson, Whitehall Correspondent. “Plastic Waste from Easter Egg Packaging Set to Reach 3,000 Tonnes This Year.” The Sun, The Sun, 31 Mar. 2018, http://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5942583/easter-egg-plastic-waste/.

“Not Just for Easter: Unexpected Uses for Plastic Easter Eggs.” The Crazy Craft Lady, 12 Mar. 2021, thecrazycraftlady.com/not-just-for-easter-unexpected-uses-for-plastic-easter-eggs/.

Person. “The Deplorable Rise of the Plastic Easter Egg.” Salon, Salon.com, 25 Sept. 2011, http://www.salon.com/2010/04/02/plastic_easter_eggs/.

“Population Pyramids of the World from 1950 to 2100.” PopulationPyramid.net, http://www.populationpyramid.net/united-states-of-america/2000/.“Religion in America: U.S. Religious Data, Demographics and Statistics.” Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project, 9 Sept. 2020, http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/.

Organizations and Brands that Fight to Help the Environment

Finding trustworthy organizations/brands to support when it comes to the environment can tend to be difficult at times. Knowing which organizations to donate to and whether or not their intentions are pure are important things to factor in. Therefore, this article has composed a list of trustworthy organizations you can support and start using to ensure that your money can go toward helping the environment. 

White Sided Dolphin Beaded and Braided Bracelet 2-Pound Pack on a wrist
  1. 4Ocean

4ocean is a legitimate organization that is dedicated to ocean cleanups. These cleanups are completely funded by the profits made from the products they sell. They give a “One Pound Promise” in which they state that every product being purchased from their site goes into one pound of trash being clean from the oceans. Their products vary from adorable bracelets to environmental-friendly products such as reusable water bottles and straws. You can learn more about them and purchase a few items on their site

Zero Waste Face Masks - 2 Pack

2. Sand Cloud

Sand Cloud is an organization dedicated to turning recycled plastic into great-quality products. They take single-use plastic and are able to make incredible items such as towels, shirts, reusable water bottles, and so much more! Their goal is to reduce plastic pollution and save marine life. Not only are they creating high-quality sustainable items from recycled plastic, but a percentage of their profits also go into Marine Conservation. Learn more about their goal and shop their products on their website!

Picture taken from https://www.bustle.com/p/lushs-shark-fin-soap-is-back-100-of-the-proceeds-go-to-protect-the-species-17994689. Article is about the Lush’s shark campaign and what they have done to help save the sharks.

3. Lush

Lush is one of the more mainstream sustainable brands. However, their environmental involvement is usually overlooked due to their popularity. They focus on being as plastic-free as possible and tend to package most of their products in reusable materials. Not only that, but they often focus on specific issues, such as saving sharks, and have articles educating people about issues happening all around the world. Learn more about their #savethesharks campaign here.

Click the link to learn more about their website and switch to supporting their cruelty-free, vegan, environmentally-friendly products! https://www.lushusa.com/plastic-free-july-2020.html

Photo from the Coral Gardeners Website: https://www.coralgardeners.org/.

4. Coral Gardeners

Although this isn’t necessarily a brand that you can support, this organization’s motive is so important and deserves to be shared. A prominent issue in the environment is the global death of coral reefs, which are extremely important to the environment. This organization is dedicated to educating others about the importance of coral reefs as well as trying to save them. You can get involved by actually adopting one! Click the link to adopt your own coral reef and the organization will be dedicated to taking care and saving it. 

5. The Dolphin Project

The Dolphin Project is an organization dedicated to saving the dolphins. They have articles educating others about what’s happening to dolphins all around the world and are dedicated to saving as many dolphins as they can. They have a shop in which all proceeds go back to the organization and its goals. Click the link to shop their store and contribute to their project, and visit their site to learn more about them!

6. Ecosia

Ecosia is a free, legit, and safe search engine that uses its profits to focus on deforestation. It isn’t necessary somewhere to spend your money to support the environment, but by switching to this search engine rather than using Google, Bing, etc., you could contribute to the important focus on deforestation. Ecosia has already helped plant over 70 million trees since its founding in 2009. Click the link to learn more about Ecosia and switch to using them as your main search engine. 

7. Eco-Youth

Donating is one of the easiest things that some of us can do to make an impact on the environment, and even a small donation can go a long way. While there are endless places to donate to, we are one of the most trustworthy! Click the link to join the fight and donate to our gofundme where the money will directly be located into making our communities more eco-friendly!