19 Dec 2019

Have yourself a very sustainable Christmas

Posted in: Household action

Have yourself a very sustainable Christmas

It’s that time of year again! It feels like Christmas comes around faster and faster each year. We know that you’ve been working hard on your carbon, energy and environmental management through the year, so don’t blow out at Christmas!

Our team have put together a list of the top tips to help you increase the fun whilst reducing your environmental impact.

Christmas Tips

Top 6 Present Possibilities

1. Buy fewer presents. It’s good for the environment and your Christmas stress levels! One way can be to organise a Secret Santa for your family, friends or office. Also, if you’re buying fewer gifts, you’ve got more time to find something a little special and higher quality presents that will last.

2. Buy an experience, not a thing. Experiences are good choices to limit waste. They can make great memories – that last longer than things! Extra tip: check out ‘deal’ websites for meals or activities in their city and email them to save on freight emissions and postage costs.

3. Ditch the usual wrapping paper. Go for ‘craft’ style that’s sturdier and easier to reuse. Better yet, use old magazines or newspapers for wrapping and tie with brown string that’s easier to recycle. Extra tip: use Beeswax wraps, which end up being a part of the gift.

4. Give home-made gifts. People appreciate the extra time it takes to make something. Food is usually always a welcome gift at Christmas – who doesn’t like cake? Or what about a voucher for something helpful? I’m sure parents would love a voucher for an hour babysitting or vacuuming.

5. Ditch the gift altogether. Sometimes it’s sooooo difficult to figure out what to get your loved one. Why not gift them the feeling of having done something good for someone else? Donate to charities on behalf of your friends or family instead of gifts.

6. Rethink your corporate giving. Do you know what your work gives out to clients and partners? Look into sustainably sourced or responsible gifts, or consider a donation on behalf of your clients.

Top 3 Food Fancies:

7. Minimise meat. Read the news lately? Eating less meat is better for your health and the environment. Be adventurous and try an alternative protein source – anyone for cricket?

8. Make over your leftovers. Making the most of your leftovers is just common sense. Love Food Hate Waste say that more food goes to waste during Christmas week, than any other time of year. There are plenty of ideas for utilising leftovers for yummy meals to reduce your food waste. Who doesn’t want Christmas dinner to last as long as it could?

9. Buy local. Help support small business and your local economy by purchasing food and beverages from organisations in your area or region. It has a double benefit because it can mean the food is fresher and in season.

Top 7 General Christmas Time Tips

10. Switch off. Turn off your Christmas lights when you go to bed to reduce your energy consumption. Whilst a lot of holiday lights are now LEDs and use less energy than traditional lights, it still pays to maintain good habits and switch them off.

11. Forgo the chop. Don’t cut down a tree for Christmas, or buy a new plastic one. Try a Christmas tree in a pot that you can bring inside. The tree will sequester carbon all year round. Better yet, decorate a tree outside and have your present opening party in the backyard.

12. Avoid Christmas Crackers. Or if you just have to have them, then make your own. You can avoid the foil, plastic toys and unfunny jokes and put in a sweet compliment instead.

13. Encourage a waste-free Christmas party. Whether it be with work colleagues, friends or family, a waste-free party is a great challenge that can get people thinking creatively. Keep the good momentum going for your party and turn it into a beach clean-up, a planting group, or help make Christmas dinner for others at a charity.

14. Release your artistic streak. Make decorations from natural objects that can be collected from your surroundings, then returned or composted. This is a great activity for kids as they get to be creative, stay occupied and contribute to the party.

15. Give a gift to the environment -offset your Christmas travel. You can calculate the greenhouse gas (carbon) emissions of your trip to see the relatives and purchase carbon credits to offset the impact of your holiday travel. Check out our free-to-use travel emissions calculator.

16. Get your lights right. Use beeswax candles, not paraffin (petroleum based) candles. You want the ambiance without the impact.

Got more tips for us? We’d love to hear them, get in touch.