Borders are opening, suntan aromas are in the air, Mariah Carey is on repeat, it must be Christmas time.
Who doesn’t love the festive season, I’ll tell you who, the planet. In terms of food, decorations and unwanted gifts, the amount of waste produced over Christmas is astounding.
Every year in Australia, nearly 5 million tonnes of food goes straight into landfill, and about a quarter of the food, bought, prepared and served over the festive season is thrown out.
‘Tis is the season to be giving, right? Australians collectively spend around $11 billion a year on Christmas gifts. But they really shouldn’t have, when about 20 million gifts are deemed as unwanted, unnecessary and most likely end up in, yep you guessed it landfill.
Those gifts also come wrapped in about 8,000 tonnes of wrapping paper or 150,000 kilometres - enough wrapping paper to reach Hawaii 16 times.
So what’s the solution? There’s no need to cancel Christmas or get your grinch on. Here are some easy tips to have a climate-friendly and fun festive season!
- Use what you have, if you have a plastic tree, don’t feel bad, it’s probably the same one you display each year, so keep using it and don’t throw it out.
- If you are going to buy new, go for natural or edible decorations, popcorn string, a wreath of branches and dried flowers.
- For wrapping paper, re-use what you have or use something that has a use, such as a beach towel or reusable bag.
- Go for platters or buffet style so people can serve themselves
- Start making space in your fridge and freezer for leftovers
- Source your food locally from farmers markets or get the market delivered to your door with Your Food Collective
- Try some plant-based meat alternatives, your cranky old uncle won’t even know the difference, we suggest: Fable Foods, Vow Food, V2 Food, and Harvest B
As for Gifts
- Go for experiences not things
- Buy secondhand - World’s Biggest Garage Sale has an online store and their ‘Reloved’ range features upcycled practical products with funds going to support social enterprises.
Climate Friendly Gift Ideas:
- Team Timbuktu - sustainable active apparel and waterproof raincoats made from recycled plastic bottles, female-founded and supporting First Nations artists with their latest raincoat range.
- Baresop - beautiful on your skin, great for the planet. Reducing single-use plastics with plant based ingredients. Female-founded.
- Great Wrap - Made from potato chip waste, this plastic wrap alternative is manufactured in Australia with renewable energy. The best part, home compostable and worms love it! Female co-founder.
- ModiBodi - Sustainable absorbent apparel for incontinence, menstrual and other leak protection and is a total replacement to disposable hygiene products saving both carbon and water. They have a plan to be carbon neutral by 2023 and also female-founded.
- Ozeano Vision - sunglasses made from recycled ocean plastic, feel good and look good.
- QuietRush - e-mobility bikes for rugged terrain and lots of fun!
- Wattcost - Like a fitbit for your home, helps to continually reduce living costs and carbon footprint.
- Your Food Collective - Christmas hampers, sourced within 250km from your home, delicious, farmer produced goodness. Female founded.
- ZeroJet - put your name down for an electric tender or small boat, silent climate-friendly fun on the water. Also female-founded.
- Trace - Are offering gift cards. Off-set one month of emissions and plant 10 trees for as little as $30 - founded by two women.
Of course you can always peruse the collection of climate friendly brands with Greener, set-up your apple pay through their app and off-set your purchases.
And don’t forget to download One Small Step to help guide you through the silly season and pretty much every season, it’s your sustainability coach in the palm of your hands.
Enjoy the festive season with our climate-friendly tips and to find out about more incredible climate tech startups emerging from Australia and New Zealand, check out our showcase and awards.
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