By Ann Marie Foley - 21 March, 2019
A special Easter Egg that respects both the true meaning of the season and the environment is back again this year.
The Happy Easter Egg comes with rhymes, readings and illustrations that tell the true story of Easter, but the packaging is fully recyclable and the cocoa comes from an ethical source.
“It’s sustainably sourced cocoa which means it is a better quality chocolate and a better livelihood for the farmer. They also give farmers training so there is a better crop yield and income,” Julie Carvill, founder of the Happy Easter Egg, told CatholicIreland.net.
“They do some work with women farmers in particular in the Ivory Coast,” she explained. Those women then become leaders and pass on the knowledge they gain to other farmers in the region.
At the Irish factory that makes the chocolate and Easter Eggs, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 20 per cent. Other environmentally friendly initiatives involve using solar power for 18 per cent of the electricity needs and using energy efficient lighting.
“They actually send zero waste to landfill; they reuse and they recycle,” said Julie Carvill, who has visited the factory to see for herself. She also confirms that all the packaging is recyclable, as foil rather than plastic is used around the egg, and the box is made of cardboard.
She has been selling the Happy Easter Egg since 2015. Back then she was shocked by a survey taken among children in Britain that revealed that 25 per cent of those surveyed thought Easter was the Easter Bunny’s birthday and 27 per cent thought it was celebrating the day on which chocolate was invented.
While she felt it might not be quite as bad in Ireland, she thought it might be going in that direction. She was running an online Christian bookshop and decided to do something that might help reinforce the true message of Easter, which is the Resurrection. She sourced the chocolate Easter Egg and prepared the Happy Easter Story booklet to place inside the box. This tells the Easter story in illustrated rhyme. The Happy Easter Story is also online to watch, with free Easter competitions, and more.
The high quality chocolate eggs (total 195 g) are made in Ireland. For every Happy Easter Egg purchased, 10c goes to the Irish charity The Hope Foundation.
The Happy Easter Eggs are available through local churches and groups and not shops. Some churches present the Happy Easter Egg to the children of the parish, to altar servers and children’s choirs. Others take orders from the congregation for them to give as gifts to their family members.
While the eggs are sold predominantly in Catholic churches and groups, they are sold elsewhere too.
“It has spread across denominations but most [customers] would be Catholics, then Church of Ireland, and Presbyterian, Methodist, and a few independent churches,” said Julie Carvill.
She has had orders from church prayer groups that span several parishes, from a Christian businesswoman who gives the eggs to her employees, and groups of neighbours.
“It doesn’t have to be a Church. It is for anyone who wants to get together and get to the minimum order of 20 eggs,” she said.
The deadline to order eggs is 1 April and the Happy Easter Eggs will be delivered by Palm Sunday.
For further details see: www.happyeasteregg.ie or phone the order line at 085 229 3722.