In the UK we buy more than 80 million boxed chocolate eggs each year at Easter, generating 4,370 tonnes of card waste and costing around £299 million. When you think about it, this seems like a bizarre way to mark a religious festival or celebration of nature. If you want to save money or produce less waste this year, here are my top tips for a greener Easter.

 

Simple things that will take a few minutes

1) Recycle your wrapper

Here's an easy one. 160 tonnes of foil waste are produced every Easter, so when you've polished off your eggs scrunch all the foil up together in a big ball and chuck into your recycling bin.

2) Shop smart and choose a less packaged egg

As much as a third of the weight of an Easter egg is in the packaging. So don't be fooled by a big box, take a look at this guide from Which? showing which eggs give the most chocolate for your money.

3) Make the most of your cooking water

If you're boiling eggs over Easter, save the water to pour over your plants (once cooled). The water is full of Calcium which leaks from the eggshells during cooking and is great for plants. Get more tips on saving water here.

 

 

If you've got an hour or two

4) What's for lunch?

If you're looking for something cheaper, tastier and more environmentally friendly than lamb ask your butcher or meat counter if they have Hogget (lamb over 1-year-old) or mutton (lamb over 2 years). Or even better for the environment, go veggie. This Spiral Pie, Spiced cauliflower roast or Crispy Filo Tart from BBC Good Food would make hearty meat-free mains.

5) Leftover chocolate fondue

Don't let any chocolate go to waste! Once you're sick of eating Easter eggs, do a DIY fondue by melting any leftover chocolate in a pan/the microwave. Dip in fruit (if you need some nutrients) or marshmallows (if you don't).

6) Driving home for Easter

Many people hit the road over the Bank Holidays, so why not share a ride? Put a shout out on social media to see if friends are driving in the same direction as you, or pretend to be the star of a Jack Kerouac novel and car share with strangers using sites like BlaBlaCar or Go Car Share (be safe).

 

If you want a weekend activity

7) Decorations to dye for

Make beautiful decorations using just storecupboard basics by dyeing eggs. This guide shows the colours achieved by natural dyes such as beetroot and turmeric. Generally, if your eggs are refrigerated within 2 hours they can still be eaten but check here to make sure.

8) Make your own chocolate eggs

Avoid the chocolate egg packaging altogether by making your own. Gram for gram eggs are up to 73% more expensive than the same chocolate when sold in bars, so make your own and have twice as much! Getting creative with an egg mould means you can make personalised eggs.

9) Homemade Hot Cross Buns

The Hot Cross bun is an Easter staple. With supermarket bun prices set to soar due to a global raisin shortage, there's never been a better time to make your own and save money, packaging and the need to leave your house. Try this recipe for Hot Cross Buns which is billed as 'foolproof'.


Sources:

Independent.co.uk: Easter egg packaging is thoroughly misleading and has developed into a confectionery arms race.

Waste Connect: The End of Egg-cessive Easter Waste??

Which?: Are you shelling out too much for Easter egg chocolate?