Home Lifestyle Easter is becoming the new Halloween – and that is scary

Easter is becoming the new Halloween – and that is scary

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You might not tie Easter with environmentalism but I beg you to consider the planet (Picture: Getty Images)

Looking around Britain at the moment, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was October. 

And no, I’m not just talking about the rain

I’m commenting on the massive increase in people buying plastic throwaway items for a few days of the year to decorate their homes, only for it to end up in landfill. 

It seems to me that Easter is in danger of becoming the new Halloween, and that comes with consequences. 

If we don’t curtail this hopping mad consumerism, we will be in the crazy position of celebrating the arrival of spring by destroying our natural world. 

In the past 10 years alone, UK spending on Halloween quadrupled, and now stands at £1billion. 

A 2019 survey by charity Hubbub suggested that seven million Halloween costumes are thrown away every year, adding up to 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste. That’s the equivalent of 83million plastic bottles. 

Recently, we have seen a similar rise in daft and damaging spending at Easter – with it expected to almost double since last year. 

We’re already used to the waste that comes with Halloween (Picture: SWNS)

That rise might not be surprising given kids love chocolate and the cost of everything is going up, but did you know only half of the over £2billion Brits are expected to spend on Easter this year will be on eggs?

Home baking, decorations, activities and DIY promotions all got us opening our wallets last year. 

That might seem harmless – but my message is simple – don’t buy needless plastic products this or any year to celebrate Easter. 

Plastic pollution is an absolute menace in the world and what’s really scary is plastic waste is set to triple by 2060. 

You might not tie Easter with environmentalism but I beg you to consider the planet – don’t fall for marketing, lay off the decorations, and buy Fairtrade chocolate eggs with simple cardboard packaging for loved ones instead.  

I’ve seen first hand, from Instagram to shop window displays, how much the Easter celebration has gone from religious, to confectionary, to decorations and sheer amounts of product. 

When I grew up, Easter was all about going to church. Some very long services were endured because we knew that on Easter Sunday we would have the joy of finally eating chocolate eggs and sweets, after giving them up for Lent. 

Growing up it was all about church followed by chocolate (Picture: Getty)

Walk into any supermarket or home store at the moment and you will see shelves full of plastic Easter tat. 

When I read the labels, much has been made in Asia, shipped thousands of miles so that you can transform your house into what looks like a rampaging rabbit refuge for a week – then chuck it all into landfill. 

The carbon footprint of the Easter bunny is enormous. 

Battery operated rabbit garden lights, Plastic carrot platters. Something called Easter Gnomes. If you know what one of those is then you are better informed than me. 

While much of my issue is with cheap rubbish, there’s plenty for those who want to enjoy the finer things in life. 

If you are flush this spring you can always check out the rose gold-tone plated Easter Egg shaped silver cutlery canteen available in posh department store Harrods. It could be yours for a mere £2,500.

This might seem harmless, mocking cheap decorations or four-figure forks. 

But there’s a cost to all of this, and it isn’t just financial. 

Almost all plastics are made from fossil fuels, and even though we are better at separating out our rubbish, a lot of the plastic we use still can’t be recycled. 

According to The Big Plastic Count only 12% of plastic is recycled in the UK. A quarter of plastic ends up in landfill, while almost half is incinerated, which can affect air quality and public health. 

I don’t wish to rain on your parade but climate change is real, pollution is a problem, and we need to take action. 

None of us sets out to fill our homes with plastic we don’t need, spending money we can’t afford and pollute the planet along the way. But that’s what retailers hope we will do. 

The amount of plastic at Easter is concern (Picture: Getty)

But if we want to tackle carbon pollution, cut costs and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, I assure you an Easter wreath made out of plastic is not the answer. 

I don’t want to be the fun police, I love hot-cross buns and chocolate and yellow fluffy chicks make my heart sing. 

I harbour the same dream of a beautifully decorated home as the next mum. But there are ways to make things festive without destroying the planet.

Paint boiled eggs, cut out cardboard bunny shapes and get the kids to decorate them, pick tulips and daffs from your garden to brighten up your front room. 

If you’re desperate for a wreath, make your own with blossoms you can find in any wood at this time of year. 

And of course look for chocolate that’s sustainable and comes with minimal packaging. 

Easter weekend is a time that should be about celebrating rebirth, renewal and spring but instead we are contributing to choking our planet. 

I know times have changed but I’m not convinced that the pagans that started the ritual of marking the spring equinox, or Christians who celebrate Holy Week, really had maxing out our credit cards on fake fur bunny ears in mind. 

Enjoy Easter, enjoy the eggs, but if we are serious about saving the planet, we need to stop this holiday becoming the new Halloween, before things get really scary. 

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing jess.austin@metro.co.uk

Share your views in the comments below.


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