Dreaming of a green Christmas?
There are so many awesome things about Christmas! Spending quality time with family, eating delicious food, the pressies, the cheesy Netflix movies, Bublé and Mariah... I could go on! But there is something that is less-than-amazing about the silly season as well: The waste.
From unwrapping presents in the morning, to chucking out mounds of food at the end of the day, the amount of waste that's created on Christmas Day is massive. That's why we've put together a few of our favourite tips and tricks on how you can celebrate a little bit more sustainably this year!
#1 Make sure your wrapping paper is recyclable
It's important to know that not all wrapping paper is recyclable and not all recycling facilities accept wrapping paper for recycling. This is because wrapping paper often contains more than just paper. Dyed all different colours, wrapping paper can contain foil or glitter (or both) and is often laminated.
Rather than buy wrapping paper that's not recyclable, why not upcycle the packaging you have from your previous purchases or simply, just buy wrapping paper that can be recycled if you don't have anything laying around?
Tea towels and newspapers are also a couple of our other favourite alternative wrapping options.
#2 Make your own Christmas crackers
Christmas crackers are fun... for about 15 seconds. Once they've popped and you've told the table your fantastically terrible "joke", what next? They just go straight to the bin. Be honest, you don't actually keeps those tiny plastic toys that come in, them do you?
So instead of shelling out money for what is essentially un-recyclable trash, why not make your own? This way you can actually make your crackers recyclable, pop some toys or trinkets in there that people will actually want to keep, and most importantly... put in some jokes that are ACTUALLY FUNNY!
It really isn't all that hard to do, check it out. All you need is some paper, a toilet paper roll tube, some string and a few other little accoutrements and you've got yourself a cracker of a cracker.
#3 Support local with the gifts you buy
Who doesn't love online shopping? It's super convenient! You can do it from your couch in your PJs while a tub of ice cream is resting precariously on the cushion next to you ... Oh wait, is that just me?
But a problem with buying your Chrissy gifts online is that often what you buy travels hundreds if not thousands of kms to get to you. But after a year like this one, why not support local businesses with your gift giving? It's not only better for the environment, but it's also lovely for the economy!
#4 Buy locally-sourced ingredients for your Christmas lunch
The same philosophy for gift-buying applies to the food we buy for Christmas. For a lot of people, Christmas is a great reason to cook enough food to feed a small-to-medium sized army, so we should all be a bit more mindful of the food that we buy.
If the cherry tomatoes for your salad aren't haven't travelled from Timbuktu to get to your table, that not only means that they're fresher but that it took fewer resources to get on your plate. Buying locally-sourced ingredients means that you can reduce your food miles and reduce the negative effect it has on the environment.
#5 Don't waste any food
This should be a no-brainer.
More often than not, there will be leftovers after Christmas lunch, rather than simply chucking out food, pop them into containers and keep it in the fridge or freezer to enjoy in another day or two. There's nothing worse than putting so much time and effort into preparing and cooking a delicious feast to only have half of it end up in landfill, where it's generating greenhouse gases.
But also, as the old saying goes "prevention is better than the cure". If you're going to have 10 people over for lunch, don't buy enough food to feed 20, buy enough for 10. That way you won't have to waste any food because you can't fit all of the leftovers in your fridge.