The Christmas season can leave our bins overflowing and our land fills stocked to the brim. Whether it’s the wrapping paper from the gifts under the tree or the plastic plates from the New Year’s barbecue, it’s no surprise that Christmas is often labelled as the most wasteful time of the year. Check out our tips below to help reduce your waste this Christmas season!
Thankfully, we’re all becoming increasingly aware of the impact we have on our environment. Christmas shouldn’t be any different. This year our family to trying to reduce our impact on the environment by doing a little extra planning before hand and make some conscious choices!
1. Skip the wrapping paper and get creative: When you think about it, the life time of wrapping paper is awfully short! We purchase it simply to cover our presents under the tree and on the 25th of December every last piece of it is shoved into our rubbish bins! Instead, wrapping paper can be replaced by drawstring fabric bags, kraft paper from online shopping purchases, reused boxes from during the year or even recycled wrapping paper from previous years gifts!
2. Purchase experiences rather than products: Gifts can often come with unnecessary packaging and containers. We love gifting our loved ones experiences which we can all do together during the year. Ideas include movie tickets for a future date night or fun activities for summer time (zip lining, rock climbing or kayaking).
3. Shop local rather than online: Reduce the footprint of your gifts by supporting local businesses and brands. We shared lots of gift ideas from businesses in the Cambridge area in our 2019 Gift Guide, check it out here!
4. Cancel Christmas cards and send an email! If you still send out Christmas cards, go you for making the effort! Reduce your waste and save some time by sending an email to your family members instead.
5. Donate, sell and re-purpose unwanted gifts: We all get given things we don’t want sometimes. Rather than keeping these unwanted gifts in storage or cluttering our homes, simply donate or sell these gifts and let them serve others who want them! We love having a big de-clutter during January so we can start the year fresh.
6. Make your own Christmas gifts! Add a special and personal touch to your gifts this year by DIY-ing some presents. Give some homemade fudge in a stocking, give a dried bouquet of flowers or make up a baking mix for some of your favourite recipes so they can bake some delicious goodies in their own home.
7. Compost your Christmas tree: If you’re getting a real Christmas tree this year, be sure to compost it at the end of the season. I hate seeing the beautiful trees dumped on the side of the road! Be a little mindful and cut up your tree and put it in your compost.
8. Make your own Christmas decorations: This is perfect to do with the kids. I used to love making Christmas decorations at primary school so I’m sure the kids would enjoy this DIY project in the school holidays.
Here are some links to some DIY Christmas Decoration Ideas:
9. Get family members to write a wish-list for gifts: This way all family members get what they want for Christmas without any guessing! Just think, no wasted gifts and will save money too!
10.Use reusable napkins, and skip the paper plates. If you’re unable to use your own glassware, head for the eco-friendly, compostable plates and cutlery instead. Use cloth napkins and simply wash them afterwards. Simple changes like this may take a little extra time, but the reduced impact on the environment makes everything worth it.
11. Leftovers: freeze or re-use! No matter how well you plan Christmas dinners often leave us with excess food in the house. This is great because it minimising cooking required for meal times after Christmas day. Use as many leftovers as elements in future meals or pop them in the freezer.
12. Experiment with some meat-free dishes on the Christmas menu: Simple shifts to meat-free meals can help reduce the environmental impact of your meal. Vegan dishes can be both easy and delicious! Check out this page from Jamie Oliver’s website, he shares lots of great vegan Christmas recipes!
Which zero-waste tip are you trying this year? Share your best ideas for a zero-waste Christmas in the comment section below!
From our home to yours,
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