It’s so easy to get caught up in silly season spending that we can forget to pay mind to our carbon footprint. After all, it’s a time of excess, particularly when it comes to food and packaging. But, with a little thought and some planning, we can make choices that impact our beautiful planet a little less. Here are a few of our favourite ways to have an eco-friendlier Christmas:
Move on from plastic Christmas trees
The artificial Christmas trees that have come to dominate our festive season, have a less than merry end – as landfill. Luckily, there are two great alternatives – having a native Australian Christmas tree and making your own!
A potted Lillypilly or Albany Woolly Bush can be pruned into shape for Christmas, and then you can either replant it in your garden or keep it potted and pruned for next year. If you’re a creative person, get crafting and make your own Christmas tree out of driftwood or discarded branches.
Choose fresh foods carefully
Buying foods that are produced locally and are in season is a great way to avoid contributing to the toxic emissions that come from air-freight. Buy organic so that you know your food hasn’t been exposed to harmful pesticides. Order grass-fed, free-range meats, and use seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Create a meal plan
Despite the fact we usually over-indulge on the holidays, left-overs are still a common occurrence. Create a meal plan that takes left-overs into account. This means any excess food will be eaten and less will go to waste.
Use eco-friendly gift-wrapping
Rather than purchasing new rolls of wrapping paper every year that will be thrown out in a matter of days, try re-using materials around your home for some unique ways to wrap gifts. Old paper bags, maps, calendars and newspapers are some of our favourite materials to re-use. Furoshiki or Japanese fabric wrapping is also becoming more popular and is a great way to breathe new life into an old scarf or bandana!
Give thoughtful gifts
Instead of buying something new that comes with layers of wasteful packaging, why not DIY gifts or purchase eco-friendly products? You could even make up a family hamper which includes a few things you’ve made and some lovely organic bath products.
See this blog post for more ideas on eco-friendly gift-giving.