Christmas is a time of extravagance but can also be a time of waste. This year, think of the bigger picture and have yourself a more sustainable and eco-friendly Christmas.
Here’s just some of the ways you can help make an impact this Christmas;
1. Use sustainable gift wrap
We all love a beautifully decorated present, but gift wrap produces a huge amount of waste on Christmas day. Think about it – the paper is simply there to conceal the gift inside and is quickly torn off and thrown away – often into general waste. Much of this paper is not sustainably sourced and things like sticky tape can render it non-recyclable. To add to this, many of the sparkly and shiny decorations we use for show are made from non-recylable plastic and synthetics.
This year, why not try handing out your gifts in reusable gift bags or stockings that won’t be thrown away in an instant. Alternatively, try wrapping your packages in brown or craft paper, used magazines, newspapers, comic books or use sustainably sourced wrapping paper and tie with string to ditch the sticky tape entirely. You can then decorate with flowers or plants for a fancy, more eco-friendly option.
2. Give a sustainable gift
Ditch the single-use plastics, synthetic chemicals and ‘novelty’ gifts this year and instead give your loved ones something they can truly appreciate. Whether it’s a handmade or upcycled gift from the heart, a gift that doesn’t contain plastic or chemicals, something that will be used and loved over and over again, or something edible that you know will go down a treat, change the way you think about gifting this Christmas. Why not gift a sustainable starter kit, composting kit, organic gift set or vouchers for organic box deliveries. Donating to charity and giving a ‘sponsor’ gift are also great ways to give a more meaningful gift this Christmas.
3. Eat local and organic
Rethink your food choices this Christmas and try to buy local, in-season and organic to ensure your food is fresh, locally produced, free-from synthetic chemicals and pesticides, has been sustainably sourced and ethically raised. Buying local will help to support farmers and your local community, and buying organic means you’re helping to future-proof our planet.
4. Reduce food waste
This year, really think about what you need and what you don’t when it comes to buying food for yourself and your family. Yes, Christmas is time for a good feed, but many consumers actually over-spend when it comes to Christmas food – and much of the excess ends up in the trash. This is a worrying thought, especially since food insecurity affects 15% of the population in Australia according to Foodbank Australia. So this Christmas make sure you plan ahead and cater for your family and guests with the right amount of food and share a thought for those going without. If you still have leftovers, why not bake them up into something to delicious to share with your neighbours or freeze for later. Donations to Foodbank and charities for families facing hardship this Christmas are always appreciated.
5. Close the loop
Each year we buy more and more decorations, trees and single-use items than ever before. Close the loop and reuse, relove or make your own instead. The less we buy, the less that ends up in the trash and in our waterways.
Share your sustainable Christmas ideas with us on social media @australianorganic and remember to use the hashtag #OrganicXmas