Easter is a time of celebration on many fronts: a moment to reflect on the meaning of the holiday, an homage to spring, not to mention an excuse for kids to indulge in chocolate eggs and other sugary treats.
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It’s never too late, however, to introduce your children to healthy alternatives to mass produced milk chocolate, jelly beans and other candy that contain lost of sugar, processed ingredients and chemical additives. Below are some ideas for healthy Easter goodies featuring recipes by bloggers.
Healthy Breakfast Pizza
Blogger Chocolate-Covered Katie offers a playful twist on Easter breakfast that will start the day off for your kids with a nutritious meal. The recipe for the “pizza” calls for whole wheat flour, coconut oil, juice or milk and a pinch of sugar or healthy sugar alternative. Top the crust with cream cheese, your child’s favorite fruit and nuts for protein. Kids will get a kick out of sprinkling the toppings on the crust, and an even better time eating it.
Healthy Organic Peppermint Patties
This easy recipe for healthy organic peppermint patties was provided by health-conscious mom Halle on her blog Whole Lifestyle Nutrition. The no-bake recipe only uses 6 all-natural ingredients including coconut oil, raw honey and dark chocolate, and takes only 15 minutes to prepare. It can easily be made vegan by using vegan chocolate chips. Replace those milk chocolate eggs in your kids Easter basket with these minty bites for an artificial-free indulgent treat.
Natural Marshmallow Peeps
These adorable bites that blogger Katie posted on her site This Chick Cooks are edible figures made of home-made marshmallows. The recipe does use granulated sugar, but are guaranteed to be free of artificial colors and processed sugars like corn syrup. You can make any shape you desire; Katie made bunnies and eggs. The kids will be sure to gobble these treats up quickly.
Vegan Easter Chocolate Cake Pops
On her blog The Blender Girl, health-conscious Tess provides instructions for making these charming, dairy-free Easter cake pops using nutritious, natural ingredients. Tess, who is committed to eating a healthy diet, was diagnosed with the chronic health condition Epstein-Barr as a teenager, and experienced significantly improved health when she stopped eating gluten, dairy, poultry and red meat. This recipe, like all the others on her blog, is dairy and gluten-free. It uses coconut oil, cocoa powder, xylitol (a plant-based low calorie sweetener), chick pea flour and flaxseeds, a superfood rich in health omega-3 fat. The bird’s “nest” on top of the pop is made out of shredded coconut, with natural jelly beans that act as the nest’s eggs.
Chocolate/Carob Cocoa Nests
The chocolate cocoa nests featured on the blog Whole New Mom can be made with carob—a healthier option to chocolate that does not contain caffeine. The end result looks like real bird’s nests, which will be popular with kids, and are fairly easy to make. The nest part of the recipe calls to combine coconut, coconut butter, either chocolate or carob powder and Stevia, another plant-based low calorie sweetener that can be found in liquid and powder forms. For the eggs, use Whole Food Mom’s recipe for home-made fudge. After following the instructions to mold the nests and eggs, refrigerate them for at least one hour for a fun, plant-based Easter treat.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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