06 Dec 2022

Toitū tips for this festive season

Posted in: Household action

How you can take sustainable steps this festive season

How can we be more sustainable this festive season in Aotearoa New Zealand? Here are some great tips direct from Toitū staff - be sure to share these with your friends and work colleagues!

Christmas gifting:

“Where you can, gift experiences, as opposed to material possessions”

“I take my reusable bags to the supermarket (every time), but we inevitably end up with some brown paper bags. So, I get my kids to decorate these Christmas theme and then use them for present wrapping. Device free activity for the kids and no need to buy Christmas wrapping paper!”

“Furoshiki wrapping and gift boxes for Christmas presents as an alternative to wrapping paper. I tried this last Christmas and now I can just keep reusing the same material. One bonus for the gift boxes is I also use them to store my Christmas decorations in for the rest of the year!”

“On the topic of wrapping gifts, I invested in some of those material bags with ribbons. It takes a while for people to get used to handing the bag back, but it works really well. I have a single set of different sizes which I use to take people gifts leading up to Christmas. Then, I have them back to 'wrap' family gifts for the day itself. I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to never have to think about wrapping paper or tape ever again!”

"Use the scrunch tip for wrapping paper! If it scrunches, it's recyclable."

Furoshiki wrapping example

Travel carbon reductions:

"Taking a reusable drink bottle, keep cup, and a tote bag while travelling."

"I think this is where the Carbon Shadow concept can surpass the Carbon Footprint. If you're out there hiking, taking photos and leaving only footprints, supporting local eco or environmental based businesses, then the fuel you use to get there is more than justified."

"When camping, take a container with you so you can collect your compost and try and find someone on the Sharewaste NZ app to drop your compost off to in the area you are holidaying (we did this while in Wanaka and saved so much food scraps from ending up in landfill… so satisfying!)"

"I've used Foodprint in the past to rescue food that would otherwise be thrown out. It's handy to look ahead and have an idea where you're going to be at a certain time as things go quite quickly and the window tends to be small."

Reusable water bottle on the beach in the sand

Summer pantry ideas:

"I hit all the farmers markets and pick-your-own (PYO) that I can in summer to fill up my freezer. Then I can have packaging free berries, chillies, etc to fill the gaps for anything I'm not growing myself. Plus, at least for PYO, it is such a lovely slow-paced summer activity. My local blueberry orchard is such a happy, zen place, I never mind spending an hour there amongst the fruit and birdsong.”

"Make your own crackers for summer platters - this can be inexpensive and meet your required dietary requirements"

"Freezing food such as grated cheese, herbs in ice cub trays, grated ginger - can go straight into stir-fry's). Put a paper towel into salad bags and with mushrooms to soak up the moisture and help the food last longer. All fruit except for bananas should be in the fridge. Fruit bowl = for bananas only!"

Pick your own example