Organisations such as Planet Ark (here) also recommend that we give preference to Fairtrade organic chocolate eggs and other goodies (where available).
But make sure that you read the small print to check if the item you plan to buy is actually made from Fairtrade beans and what percentage it contains. (Some labels may simply say that some of this brand’s products are made with Fairtrade cacao beans.)
(Click here for an overview of sustainability issues related to the chocolate industry, here for a great post about buying ethical chocolate in Australia, and here for an inspiring article about a biodynamic chocolate producer in Ecuador.)
And choose items with minimal and/or recyclable packaging. After eating the contents, roll up the foil wrappers into a big ball before placing them in our kerbside recycling bins (so that they are less likely to be confused with paper or plastic by sorting machines at the materials recycling facility).
Or if you want to have your chocolate and help bilbies too – look out for Haigh’s Easter Bilbies or Pink Lady chocolates with a ‘Save the Bilby Fund’ swing tag. (See main photo – I found these bilbies at the third supermarket I visited – and decided that chocolate bilbies are almost as rare as the real thing!)
For something different, you could make your own chocolate protein (bliss) balls. And if you can resist the temptation to eat them all yourself, package them up in cellophane (not plastic) with a big (reusable) bow as gifts.
The first time I made protein balls, I combined pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chopped dates (minus the seed), walnuts and almonds, chocolate protein powder, cocoa and a drizzle of water in a food processor, formed the mixture into balls and rolled them in coconut.
I have since learnt that you should soak the nuts and seeds (except for cashews) for 6-8 hours in (salted?) water to ‘activate’ them, before draining, rinsing and chopping them (or drying them if not using them immediately). This apparently improves uptake of their nutrients and makes them easier to digest. (For more on soaking nuts & seeds, try this great post.)
Why not experiment with coconut oil, honey or maple syrup instead of water to bind the ingredients together and add some extra flavour or sweetness? Or you can make a non-chocolate version using tahini as a base and substitute other dried fruits such as apricots, sultanas and cranberries. Yum!
And then you might like to brush your teeth with a decadent new toothpaste made from a cacao plant extract (instead of fluoride) or a cheaper chocolate-flavoured fluoride toothpaste. (Think I’m joking? See this article.)
Crafty souls may prefer to hard boil some free range eggs, dye them green or other colours, and decorate them with tiny chicks, bows, glitter and other bling. But if you plan to do this, check the colour of the shells before you buy them!
And have a happy, healthy, safe & sustainable Easter!
Photo credits: Pip Marks