It’s that time of year again, tis the season! This also means it’s the time that Australians buy more, eat more and drink more than at any other time of year so we should just be mindful of this and the impact it can have on the environment.
Here are some tips on how you can make your Christmas fun and sustainable at the same time!
Sustainable gift ideas
- Consider giving an ‘experience’ type gift for example massage voucher, movie tickets, Red Balloon ideas.
- A digital magazine subscription (digital is usually cheaper than print too).
- For the person that truly does have everything how about a donation to a charity that you know would mean the most to them.
- Instead of giving cards why not send an e-card where you can donate the cost of the card to charity instead? Check out dontsendmeacard.com for more details.
- If you are giving a physical gift, make sure you get something you know your recipient would like and use (also include a gift exchange card just in case!)
- If you are giving a present that requires batteries it’s a good idea to give some rechargeable batteries along with it. Rechargeable batteries not only reduce waste but save money too. All rechargeable batteries are different but most should be able to be recharged up to 1,500 times. Click here for more tips on batteries.
- Avoid using plastic or foil wrap which cannot be recycled.
- Be creative and utilise old magazines or newspapers as wrapping paper or get your kids to draw something on scrap paper and use this (more unique too!).
- Reuse wrapping paper from last year.
- Buy wrapping paper that has recycled content.
- Avoid the use of ribbons and bows or be sure to recycle these for next time.
- Make sure all wrapping paper is recycled (either in your wheelie bin or kept to use again if it is in good condition).
- Buy good quality decorations that you can use for many years.
- Get creative and crafty with the kids and make decorations with things you already have at home.
- A good quality artificial tree that can be used year upon year may be a better option than a live Christmas tree (and it’s cleaner too with no branches falling off!).
- If you do buy a branch check with your council about disposal. Many Victorian councils now offer a free Christmas tree collection. The branches are picked up and mulched with the mulch then being distributed around the parks in the area.
- Another option for a live tree is a potted plant that you can then plant in your garden and watch it grow.
- Good planning – write shopping lists and have the meal plan for Christmas Day sorted in advance.
- Portion planning – again all about planning the meal in advance along with knowing the amount of people you are catering for and purchasing the amount based on numbers.
- Store any left over food in reusable containers and send home for your guests to enjoy for Boxing Day lunch! Or freeze anything you won’t be able to get through.
- Compost food scraps or use a worm farm. Click here for some options.
- Avoid using disposable plates and cutlery. Instead invest in some nice plastic ones that can be reused. This not only stops the unnecessary contribution to landfill but will also save you money in the long run.
Recycling and Waste
- Crush cans and squash bottles before you put them into your recycling bin. This will significantly increase the amount of space available in your recycling bin.
- If you are having a Chrissie Day barbie, have a few smaller tubs or receptacles around your BBQ area where your guests can dispose of their bottles and cans. If you make it easy then people will happily do this. It will also save you the clean-up operation the next day!
- If you find you have an overflowing recycling bin check out your local transfer station as they will usually take these items off you for free.
For further advice on recycling and waste reduction or to find out more about commercial recycling programs please contact us.