An eco-friendly waste-free Christmas
Did you know that Christmas is one of the biggest waste events on our calendar?
Think about how much excess stuff is created for a single day in your home, then times that for a few hundred thousand other homes. Got it? If the planet is important to you, we need to have sensible conversations about the waste we create at Christmas and change our behaviour. The environmental impact of Christmas is not sustainable.
According to Australian Ethical, rubbish volumes rise by around 30% at Christmas. Most of the waste is made up of the packaging material used in gift giving – the wrapping paper, plastic and inner and outer and packaging that go with many gifts. Not to mention the Christmas decorations, the glitter that never breaks down and the copious amounts of tinsel that is really only sparkly plastic!
Even worse is the amount of Christmas food waste. I know that we all like to guzzle our way through our favourite drinks and eat our own weight in mince pies, turkey, prawns and all the other special Christmas trimmings, but we really need to think about this. OzHarvest estimate Australia’s annual food waste bill is around $20 billion per year; that is 7.3 million tonnes or 298kg food per person. One third of this waste occurs in our own homes.
Go green with your decorating
- Make a tree from sisal rope and sticks, driftwood or old collectables – it took about 20 minutes to make our instore trees
- Make decorations the old-fashioned way – popcorn on a string, gingerbread men, salt dough stars, twig stars and dried fruit, herb and spice garlands – check out ours instore!
- Use tea towels, fabric, or brown paper wrapping and reuse and recycle it
- Tie gifts together with string or fabric or use a complementary container, no wrapping required
- Send e-cards or emails instead of paper cards; if you need to send a paper card make it recyclable and include some seeds for planting
- Gift experiences instead of things
- Minimise gift giving – we have a rule for all gifting occasions – you get something you want, something you need, something to share and something to read – simple!
- Make personalised gingerbread and decorate with the name of the recipients
Minimise food waste
- Avoid individually wrapped Christmas food items – candy canes, chocolates etc and disposable food serving products
- Free up some space in your freezer for post Christmas leftovers
- Meal plan your Christmas lunch and be mindful of portion sizing – 200g of protein per person is a great measure, but it should be less if your lunch is served with other goodies
- Let your guests serve themselves, buffet style so they can go back for seconds
- Collect some post-Christmas leftover recipes and be ready to put them to use
Most of all, you’ll enjoy not having to stuff your rubbish bins, carry out copious bags of waste, or visit the tip after your Christmas celebrations. There is no ‘away’; all waste must go somewhere.
When you need to pack up, the amount of things that go into your compost or your ‘save for next year’ box will help you understand how well you did to be more waste free this Christmas.
Happy waste-free Christmas!