This festive season you can make sustainability a part of your celebrations as we find ourselves recovering from a big year and thinking more about the important things – our family, friends, community and the planet.
Christmas doesn’t have to cause extra stress on the planet and its resources. Here are some ideas to help celebrate the season while caring for the Earth.
- Buy less stuff
You can help reduce the amount of stuff that gets produced by making different choices. Gifting an experience such as a massage, a cooking course, a yoga class, or dinner, is an excellent way to end the cycle of accumulating things. Gifting experiences has the added benefit of supporting local businesses and boosting employment.
- Buy second hand or hand make a gift
Op-shops, vintage stores and antiques markets offer a range of unique gift ideas. If you have surplus fruit or vegetables from your garden or in your fridge, you can make jams, chutneys or pickles as a delicious present.
- Avoid excessive packaging
Find alternatives to buying new wrapping paper such as old fabric or make a collage out of old paper. Learn what packaging materials can go in which bin through our Recycling A-Z guide.
- Make a donation
As some have been doing it tough you can also think about contributing to local charities and organisations as part of your gifting rituals. Sustainability Victoria advises that “a gift in the form of a donation to a worthy cause, perhaps a charity with a focus on the environment, is the most sustainable gift you can give.”
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- Decorate sustainably
Choose a real Christmas tree or rent one rather than buy a plastic tree that sheds plastic and required fossil fuels to produce. When it comes to decorations think natural, look outside for materials, avoid plastic and create your own from materials you already have.
- Source local food
Buy seasonal, local and organic where possible. Less distance to travel to the store and less chemicals in production means an eco-friendlier Christmas feast. Coburg Farmers Market is having a special Christmas market on Wednesday 23rd December.
After the party
- Regift or donate
Don’t put unwanted gifts in the bin! Donate them or pass them on to another friend or someone in need. There are many online groups where you can Repair, Reuse, Borrow, Swap your unwanted gifts.
- Gift food waste to worms
If you’re looking to make sure your Christmas food waste doesn’t end up in landfill, Merri-bek residents can head to Compost Community and get a discounted worm farm or compost bin.