It’s safe to say that a lot gets thrown away during our most beloved holidays. And with Easter around the corner, we can expect an exorbitant amount of waste from a million plastic eggs to stale hot cross buns. Earth Day, also nearing, serves as a reminder to be mindful about unnecessary waste. Here are our tips for reducing waste during Easter, many of which can be used throughout the year and for other special occasions, too. Even if you don’t celebrate the Christian holiday, you may learn a thing or two that will save you some dollars and lessen waste in our environment.
1 Eat Your Boiled Eggs
On Easter morning, you’re always left with colourful, beautifully-decorated eggs that seem to have no purpose. Many families throw these eggs away because, if they are coloured they are no good, right? Wrong. Underneath their beautiful exteriors are perfectly good and usable boiled eggs. Instead of wasting, use them for breakfast! There are dozens of delicious dishes one can make with boiled eggs. Here are a few of our suggestions:
Egg Salad: In a medium bowl, grate and add boiled eggs, mayo, garlic, salt and any other seasoning that pleases you. Mix and enjoy with a slice of crisp toast.
Add it to your salad: Adding a boiled egg to a salad, or any meal, increases the protein-content and satisfaction factor by a mile. Just a sprinkle of salt and pepper — and of course, pepper sauce — will brighten up the entire dish. Besides conventional salads, diced boiled eggs are great in potato and macaroni salads. They make salads more filling and honestly, just more yummy.
Sandwich: Sliced, boiled eggs are the perfect filler for a sandwich. Make a sandwich with your eggs, cheese, lettuce, tomato and any seasonings you like for a quick and filling lunch.
2 Use Leftover Easter Chocolates
There is absolutely no way that Easter chocolates are ever eaten out. It’s like Halloween and Christmas — somehow you always find a chocolate pumpkin or Christmas tree mysteriously appearing in your kitchen cupboard. Easter chocolates are really just plain milk chocolate in funny shapes and colourful packaging. Therefore, you can use them in baking just as you would regular chocolate but this time, you’ll be saving the environment by not purchasing more, which is often packaged in plastic or foil.
Here are recipe ideas for extra Easter chocolates:
Meringues – Swirl melted chocolate into whipped egg whites for chocolate meringues! Even with chocolate eggs that have caramel or cream fillings, this idea works as the fillings melt into the chocolate — you may just have a chocolate-caramel meringue!
Buttercream or Ganache – Add melted chocolate Easter eggs into vanilla buttercream or frosting to turn it into chocolate frosting! You can also melt the eggs into a ganache for a chocolate fondue or simply, for pouring over cakes.
Baked Goods – Chopped chocolate Easter eggs can be added to chocolate-chip cookies, brownies or any other baked good that you want to add fudgy, chocolatey chunks to.
Milkshake – Blend Easter chocolates with ice-cream and milk for an extra-special creamy milkshake with chunks of chocolate.
3 Skip Plastic Eggs And Baskets
We know, plastic Easter eggs and baskets are unbelievably cute, however, there are many other environmentally-friendly options to consider. After all, you throw away most of the plastic stuff after Easter Sunday, so it’s worth trying to find something that’s more versatile and less wasteful.
For Easter baskets, we recommend getting a reusable Easter tote or, dressing up a reusable basket with Easter decorations (think pastel-coloured ribbon and flowers). To avoid unnecessary plastic eggs, make your own hollow egg with chocolate or utilise plastic eggs from the years before (if you can find them). There’s no need to purchase even more plastic.
4 Make Homemade Treats
Instead of purchasing Easter chocolates, which are usually packaged in unnecessary plastic and cardboard boxes, try making a variety of treats at home. They won’t only be a lot tastier (homemade is always best) but they will prevent you from throwing out excess waste at the end of the day.
Here are some easy treats to make for Easter:
Rice Krispie Treats – Rice Krispie treats moulded into the shapes of eggs or bunnies are the perfect way to reflect Easter without the need for heavily packaged treats. They are also pretty fun to make with children.
Cake Pops – Cake pops are an easy way to add a festive touch to Easter. Just mix cake crumbs with icing and dip in pastel-coloured melted white chocolate. Decorate with colourful sprinkles and hide for an Easter egg hunt!
Marshmallows – Making your own marshmallows are not only surprisingly simple but it can also easily be customised with pastel pink and purple food colouring — perfect for Easter! Plus, homemade marshmallows is not a common homemade treat, so you will already be winning.
Meringues – Much like marshmallows, meringues look intimidating but require little effort to make. Add food colouring to your meringues for that Easter festive feeling and pipe your whipped egg whites into fun shapes like mini bunnies, ducks, flowers and eggs.
5 Eat Hot Cross Buns Even After Easter
Some persons believe that hot cross buns are meant for Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday only. False. While it is the common practice to eat hot cross buns on these days, it can still be repurposed and made into delicious dishes. Depending on the type of bun (some are traditionally spiced, some are not), both savoury and sweet dishes can be made.
If spiced, hot cross buns can be made into a decadent bread pudding. This is especially appropriate as by the Monday and Tuesday after Easter, hot cross buns are usually stale — and we all know stale bread makes the best bread pudding. Pour a mixture of milk, eggs and condensed milk over diced hot cross buns and bake for a warm pudding. Additionally, for breakfast, French toast can easily be made with the same custard mixture but seared in butter and drizzled with maple syrup. If the hot cross buns are not spiced but just sweet, then yummy grilled cheese sandwiches are the way to go. Trust us, the contrast of the sweet bun, plump raisins and sharp cheddar works brilliantly.
So, before you toss your stale hot cross buns this Easter, think of how many golden and yummy opportunities you are throwing away along with it.