Christmas is one of the most exciting, stressful and chaotic times of the year! In some way we all get caught up in the hype of shopping, gifts, huge amounts of food and decorations.
But the Christmas season can also mean huge amounts of waste, more than any other time of the year.
What types of waste are we talking? Think wrapping paper, food packaging, packaging from gifts, Christmas cards, unwanted gifts… you get the picture.
So, how can we reduce the amount of waste at Christmas time and create a more sustainable way to celebrate? Here are our favourite ways...
Recycle and Reuse
Reuse your wrapping paper. I always remember my grandmother making us kids be very careful not to tear the paper when we opened our presents, so she could use it next year. While her driver was purely saving money, from a sustainability point of view, she was well ahead of her time!
She hadn’t found these, but gift bags or boxes are also a great option, they look amazing and can be reused many, many times! Did you know, you can also buy already recycled paper for gift wrapping?!
Another one to avoid during the festive season is single use cutlery and plates or cups! Although it can be tempting to buy and use those cute little Christmas themed sets, these are just plain wasteful when you have perfectly good cutlery and crockery in your drawer already!
None of us want to get caught out without a gift for someone, so we buy more gifts than we need. Even worse, we’ve all received those unwanted gifts that are either thrown out or sent to charity.
Carefully planning your present buying and maybe even asking your recipient or someone close to them for tips of what they might like can mean you buy gifts that are really appreciated. This also reduces the amount of ‘just in case’ gifts needed.
You could also consider purchasing your loved ones an 'experience' instead of a physical gift. Maybe a voucher to that new restaurant they've been wanting to try, or an art class or maybe something extreme for the thrill seeker. There's plenty of choices out there, and a lot of them are experiences we never buy for ourselves so it's even better when someone buys it for you!
Eco friendly bon-bons can also fall under this category. Rather than buying the stock standard ones from the shops that are made on mass, and filled with cheap plastic, crappy toys that usually end up in the bin at the end of the day, why not make your own eco friendly ones! I absolutely love these ones by the Inspired Little Pot, and they're super easy to make!
There’s been a big push lately to buy Australian and buy locally produced products. These are a great way to support your local communities and drive sustainable consumer practices. There are some great products and gift ideas available with just a little bit of searching on Facebook or Google.
Another option is buying your fresh fruit and veggies from farmers markets or local growers. This supports your local businesses, as well as reducing the amount of packaging that can come with supermarket fruit and veggies.
Homemade or Handmade Gifts
Not all gifts need to be bought. Homemade or handmade gifts can have a very special meaning attached to them. They are something you have taken the time and effort to make yourself.
Examples of these are baked goods such as Christmas biscuits, cakes, sweets or treats. Or, if someone you know has a green thumb, why not grow them a plant or seedling yourself?
Again, eco friendly bon-bons can be home made! It’s gifts like this that can be even more meaningful than the packaged options that you might buy.
Solar Powered Lights
Let’s face it, we all love Christmas lights. And they only use a small amount of electricity, don’t they?
Well, yes, but there are options that use no electricity at all. Why not try solar lights to be super sustainable? They charge up during the day and then sparkle and twinkle well into the night. They are comparably priced to traditional Christmas lights and they cost you absolutely nothing to run!
Source: Sunny Bunny Solar
We hope you enjoy your Christmas with these sustainable ways to celebrate!