Easter Bunnies in golden glory via TheTruthAbout @ flickr.
If you are not religious or don't celebrate Spring by digging in to planting your victory, container or other sort of garden, Easter can degenerate into an excuse to eat candy. The truth behind chocolate is not so sweet. Candy and chocolate, like everything else done on a massive industrial and commercial scale, can generate tons of excess waste and vile environmental effects. And the chocolate Easter egg you are thinking about averages 60 percent packaging - in other words, more package than chocolate.
(Above bunnies show last year's M&S; package and this year's. Photo via Guardian)
This Easter, while Independent says Swiss chocolatier Lindt scores worst, with the actual chocolate making up only 9 percent of the weight of the boxed version of the bunny, economy is forcing less packaging. According to a research survey by Jo Swinson, a UK-based Liberal Democrat MP, last year was a high for Easter packaging excess - chocolate Easter eggs averaged 84 grams of packaging. This year, packaging has dropped to an average of 45.7 grams.
Also this year, both Nestlé and Green & Black removed all plastic from their packaging, replacing it with cardboard, which is believed to be more widely recycled. Best overall improvement goes to Marks&Spencer;, whose 2009 packaging on its chocolate bunny weighs one-tenth of what it did last year. Cadbury's claims to have reduced packaging by 25% on its Easter items; Green & Black's (now owned by Cadbury) says it has cut back 60%. Almost as important, Cadbury's said it is starting to use FairTrade chocolate, though thus far in Dairy Milk, not its easter eggs.
Last year, U.K. consumers chucked 3,500 tons of packaging at Easter, and the recycling advisors at WRAP hope that number might go down by 25 percent this year.
What's a candy-lover to do?
Well, this being TreeHugger and all, you knew there was a feel-good message coming somewhere, and here it is. You'll likely be making your own easter eggs - why not just make some of your own chocolate-covered candy eggs as well? That way, you can use FairTrade and organic ingredients and still please the sweet tooth, minus the extra packaging.
Read more about a green Easter
Make Your Easter Sweet 'N Green
Massive Global Easter Hunt Canceled
and on Planet Green
Dip Those Easter Eggs Into Natural Dyes
Tell Hershey's to End Rainforest-Wrecking Chocolate