Holiday waste continues to be an issue in the U.S.; even with awareness campaigns, spending continues to rise. With Easter around the corner, we have yet another opportunity to be more sustainable about holiday consumption.

According to the National Retail Federation, it is estimated that 81% of Americans celebrate Easter resulting in over $23 billion spent. ¹ Even more surprising is that Americans may spend more on candy for Easter than for Halloween², at over $3 billion, including as many as 91 million chocolate bunnies and 16 billion jelly beans! ² Other items Americans buy for their Easter celebrations include decorations, food, Easter Bunny supplies, and clothing (think new pastel Easter outfit).

So, as we plan our Easter shopping this year and retailers manage their holiday inventory, we must ask, “Is there a way I can be more sustainable in my approach to the Easter holiday?” Let’s hop along to some solutions.

Retailers can have a significant impact on holiday waste, and Easter is no exception. Holiday merchandise can be challenging, since it is very specific, sold for a limited time and often purchased for single use. Forecasting, managing inventory and mark-downs are all ways to reduce holiday waste. The selection of merchandise matters, too. Selling more durable, reusable items can incentivize customers to continue using their decorations year after year. And carrying merchandise that is not “Easter-specific” can help extend the shelf life of these items, as well as the usable timeframe by consumers.

What can customers do? Conscious consumerism can help prioritize sustainability and reduce waste. Let’s talk more about some of the specifics.

  • Reuse decorations rather than buying new ones every year. Trade items with a circle of friends to freshen up your Easter decorations while reusing instead of disposal.
  • Easter “grass” to fill baskets is not only messy, but also often made of petroleum-based plastics and intended for a single-use. Consider shredded paper (one way to manage your confidential documents) or purchase paper “grass” as a more sustainable, and recyclable, option.
  • Easter eggs are another egg-cellent opportunity to choose more eco-friendly options such as real eggs (with recipes to eat all of them) and reusable eggs made from sustainable materials such as wood. If plastic is the preferred choice, select eggs that contain post-consumer recycled content and are durable. Make a plan to reuse them for multiple years; donate rather than dispose.
  • Reuse containers and baskets around the house.
  • Avoid fast-fashion purchases for new Easter attire. Instead, purchase an outfit that is better quality and can be re-worn, rather than a one-time holiday outfit.

Finally, enjoy time with family and friends and enjoy the Easter holiday!

Did you know? Denali provides services to recycle and depackage unsold, inedible food items, beverages from retailers and foodservice providers. The organic byproducts are converted into valuable products such as animal feed, compost, and fuel. Learn more.

  1. License Global.
  2. Business Insider.
  3. Greener Ideal.
  4. Fast Company.