Christmas is generally a time of excess in many respects, whether it’s eating too much, spending too much, or consuming probably a few more cocktails than is generally required. With this in mind, we’ve put together five quick tips for a more sustainable festive season…
1. Fewer gifts can actually equal more. Think quality gifts rather than cheap stocking fillers. Consider pooling funds with others to buy a bigger item you just know someone will love. Avoid plastic toys if you can – there are some gorgeous alternatives that little people will love (and they’ll probably last longer).
2. Don’t give presents! Yep, we said it! Shock horror, but it really can be done. If you’d prefer a gentler version of this, take inspiration from our recent post on Sustainable Secret Santa and do Thriftmas, with the rule that all gifts are to be second-hand, repurposed, or handmade.
3. Don’t wrap. Or, if you don’t quite want to give your gifts completely naked, use brown paper, recycled paper or reused paper from last year. Don’t forget to keep any wrapping paper your receive to reuse next year, and that goes for cards too – these can be cut in half and used for gift tags.
4. Get into the kitchen. There are so many lovely possibilities for edible gifts, whether it’s cookies, jam, rocky road (we love this recipe which is a breeze to make) or something as simple as homemade vanilla sugar. Short on time? Support small businesses by sourcing some locally made treats.
5. Reduce your food waste. Australians throw away a whopping 4,000,000 tons of food each year. You wouldn’t want to contribute to this at any time of the year, so why do so at Christmas? Plan your festive catering carefully, and eat mindfully, cooking only for the number of people you know you have to dine. Still ended up making too much? Luckily, Christmas leftovers are the best kind of leftovers.