We've compiled the following eco edits to your holiday traditions that will make sure you have a very green Christmas.
One of the merriest times of the year can also be one of the most wasteful times. The festive season is a time for coming together with our loved ones to celebrate and spread some joy – So let's not forget joy to the world.
Drinking straws: Say no to a straw in your drink when you're at those Christmas parties or, better yet bring your own reusable straw.
If you have a friend or family member who’s just not ready to give up straws, give the gift that keeps on giving back to the environment. Gifting reusable straws, whether they're bamboo or stainless steel, are a great stocking stuffer for Christmas.
BYO Shopping Bags: Hopefully bringing along the reusable shopping bags has become a habit. Australia alone uses around 3.6 billion plastic shopping bags a year! Remembering your bags when you're out doing your Christmas shopping, whether it’s shopping for toys or the turkey, it’s the best way to prevent those pesky plastic bags ending up as landfill.
Gift an experience, DIY or even secondhand: When it comes to presents have you considered giving your presence? Gifting a family experience is one way to avoid buying gifts that may not last, be wanted or needed just for the sake of the season.
For those bigger gifts, such as bikes, children’s toys, that set of golf clubs for Dad or a KitchenAid for Mum, try shopping on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and even thrift stores. The bidding and bargaining can be part of the fun, plus you can score near new items for less than half the price. Not only will you be kind to the environment but to your pockets as well.
Buying local and fair-trade: If you’re keen to buy individual gifts, plan ahead and shop locally. There are many popular eco-friendly businesses around, they may cost a little extra but the sale of local and Fairtrade goods contributes to the local economy, whether it’s your local community or a developing world.
That's a wrap on wrapping: A huge contributor to waste during the holiday period is wrapping paper. With the equivalent of approximately 50,000 trees or more than 8,000 tonnes being used each year, it's time to start being smart about wrapping those presents.
Popping your presents in reusable gift boxes or bags is much better for the planet. If you just can't go without gift wrapping opt for recycled paper and avoid adding plastic tape, ribbons and bows. Another handy tip to keep in mind is that gummed paper tape is the only 100% recyclable and biodegradable table. Hemp twine is also another great eco option when it comes to gift wrapping.
Food waste: Consider a couple of important things when it comes to the holiday feast, buy fresh and DIY.
Your local farmers' markets are one of the best places to shop if you want organic, plastic-free fresh seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables. Take your own reusable bags and containers along when you shop. There are times when it’s hard to avoid packaging but avoiding packaged goods where you can significantly reduce your household waste this silly season. Shopping for ingredients at bulk food stores and making your own treats and snacks is another eco-friendly way to enjoy great food while caring for the environment.
It’s estimated that every piece of plastic ever made will take anywhere from 20 to 1000 years to break down and 6.4 million tonnes ends up in the ocean every year! This silly season switch single-use plastic items in favour of reusable, plastic-free options for the sake of our environment.
Have a very green Christmas and a plastic-free New Year!
Currently studying a Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture), Jess is in the midst of balancing a career in marketing with pursuing her new career in acupuncture. Outside of work and study, Jess spends her time practicing yoga, cooking up delicious vegan meals, flying through the clouds (skydiving), and op shopping.
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