Easter

Lots of people enjoy indulging in chocolate eggs at Easter but the huge amount of packaging they are often wrapped in can be a real headache. Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can enjoy Easter without creating lots of extra waste for our landfill sites, just follow some of our tips to have lots of fun, reduce waste and even save money this Easter.

Packaging

If you do buy Easter eggs this year, try to choose ones with as little packaging as possible. Over-packaged products tend to be more expensive and you will be left with more waste afterwards. The money you save by avoiding excess packaging could be spent on more chocolate!

Remember that you can recycle cardboard packaging at your nearest recycling centre or put it in your home compost bin. Plastic packaging can be recycled at some plastic recycling banks (not those that only accept bottles). Metal foil can also be recycled at some recycling centres or can be saved for use in craft projects.

Cards

A whopping 10 million cards are sent and received each Easter, which can create a lot of waste. If you want to send a card to friends or family, make sure that it's made from recycled material and recycle any cards that you receive. Or you could try sending an e-card, available from a whole host of different websites.

Craft ideas

You can have lots of fun (as well as saving money and reducing waste) by making and decorating your own Easter eggs with a chocolate egg making kit. These kits can be bought in the shops for around 5 and used year after year to make fantastic eggs with melted chocolate. You could even try using the egg-shaped plastic packaging that comes with many Easter eggs as a mould for more eggs!

You might also consider other tasty craft ideas, such as crispy birds' nests. Made from Rice Crispies and chocolate, these treats will not only taste great and save on packaging, they also have the added bonus of being a great activity to get the kids involved in over the holidays.

If you'd like an Easter activity that doesn't involve chocolate, why not try your hand at making traditional hand-painted Easter eggs, known as PAAS Eggs. Derived from the word 'Pasen', the Pennsylvania Dutch word for Easter, this activity focuses on decorating hens eggs with a variety of paints and dyes, including natural onion skins. Using ribbons, the finished eggs can be hung from small potted branches creating a mini Easter tree.

How to make traditional hand-painted Easter eggs:

1. Make a hole at the top and bottom of a large, free range egg
2. Carefully blow out the contents
3. Allow the eggshell to dry
4. Gently decorate it with brightly coloured paints or felt-tips
5. Add some glitter or recycled ribbons - whatever you can 'lay' your hands on!

Alternatively, you can hard boil the eggs. To save time painting them, add some food colouring to the water. Add the extra decorations when they have cooled down.

If you decorate any real eggs this Easter, you can add the eggshells to your home compost bin when you finish with them. This adds minerals to your compost and helps your garden bloom! Visit our home composting pages to find out how to order a discounted home compost bin.

Here's a fun way to re-use the plastic shell you get with your Easter egg as a mould and create endless eggs to give away:

1. Cover the plastic packaging shell from a shop-bought Easter egg in petroleum jelly
2. Rip up bits of old newspapers and soak them in a paste/glue and water solution
3. Apply a layer of paper over the egg mould and leave until almost dry
4. Add another six layers in the same way - you may prefer to use white or coloured paper for the final layer
5. Leave the mould to dry out completely for a day or two
6. Carefully pull the mould away from the papier mache egg and decorate it
7. Place a little bundle of organic chocolates wrapped in scrap material inside the egg
8. Present it with a pretty ribbon that can be reused.

Happy Easter!

If you have a question about resources or recycling in Cumbria call our helpline on  0300 003 1118
or email us at  wastepermits@cumbria.gov.uk
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