celebrate a sustainable Christmas this year

  • December 7, 2020

the festive season is here

After what has been an incredibly unpredictable and unforgiving 2020, it may seem odd to celebrate anything, let alone Christmas, but in light of looking on the brighter side of life – we’re getting into the Santa spirit. While we’re getting ready to hear those sleigh bells jingling and ring-tin-tingling too, we’re also doing all we can to ensure our carbon footprint this festive season is lower than ever before. During a time that’s commonly associated with spending lots, eating tonnes and producing plenty of leftovers and rubbish, here’s how you reduce your waste and still enjoy your holidays. 

  • decorations, cards and wrapping paper

    If you haven’t managed to save any of last year’s wrapping paper to use on this year’s gifts, never fear – you can still wrap your presents without having to go to the shops and buy more paper. Old newspapers and magazines will do the trick, as will other used materials you may have lying around the house such as linen or vintage fabrics. If you happen to have used wrapping paper leftover but it’s seen better days, simply flat-iron the paper to remove the creases, or make sure you dispose of it correctly when throwing it out. Most wrapping paper can be recycled. Metallic wrapping paper or anything with a glossy foil however is super hard to recycle and can’t really be used for much else due to the heavy metals used.

  • This year, when unwrapping your gifts, try to save the paper for re-use. Not only will the environment thank you, but it can become a great family tradition to enjoy with the kids after all the presents have been opened. Whoever collects the most re-usable paper, wins!

  • gift green

    If you’re not too keen on your gifts causing more packaging and postage waste, try to shop locally instead of having your presents shipped from all over the world. That may seem tough given the current COVID-19 situation but if you can buy your presents from local businesses and merchants, you’ll instantly reduce your Christmas packaging footprint. If possible, go the extra mile by choosing presents made from recycled materials and ensuring that any gifts for kids are ‘battery-free’. Discarded batteries aren’t just an environmental pain in the bum, they’re more likely to not be discarded or recycled properly. Finally, consider re-gifting this year if you have presents at home that have never been opened or used. If you don’t need it – simply pass it on to someone who does.

  • lunch time delights

    There’s nothing quite like an Aussie summer feast of fish and prawns and seeing as we’re a nation that loves their seafood, we should make more of an effort to purchase and consume ethical seafood only. The fine folk at the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) release an online guide each year to help you make the most sustainable choices when it comes to our friends from the sea. The items underscored in green are your best options, whereas those with a red line should be avoided if possible.

  • light up

    As magical as it is to see Christmas lights sparkling on homes and trees throughout the streets, it’s important to ensure the lights we’re using are LED or solar powered. Not only do these consume way less energy (particularly when they’re not flashing), but LED’s use up to 95% less energy than traditional lights. Best of all, if one bulb blows – the others will remain lit. When possible, turn off any Christmas tree lights or outdoor lights right before bed. That way you won’t waste any energy on lights no one will be likely to see anyway and you can pop them back on the next evening, guilt-free.