For many people, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s an opportunity to wind down, step away from work and spend some quality time catching up with family and friends. During these few weeks of December, we treat ourselves to lavish meals, home baked sweet treats and, when no one’s looking, leftovers straight from the fridge.
It’s a period when splurging and careless consumerism is at its peak. However, those hours of carefully planned Christmas shopping and gift wrapping will almost undoubtedly result in a pile of unwanted presents and unnecessary packaging.
The mindless buying of token Secret Santa or Kris Kringle gifts, stocking stuffer items and perfunctory presents for colleagues leaves people with much more ‘stuff’ than they could ever want or need.
While it’s a nice gesture to give a beautifully wrapped present to a friend, relative or acquaintance at Christmas, there’s a high chance the item will end up in the rubbish bin before we reach New Year.
Our overconsumption during the festive season makes Christmas a terrible time for the environment. (And don’t even get us started on the senseless buying bonanza of the Boxing Day Sales.)
While we don’t want to suggest you go cold turkey (no pun intended) on Christmas, there are some ways you can give presents, decorate the house and host meals with an ethical, sustainable approach.
- Buy sustainable gifts.
There’s a slew of plant-based and ethically made products on the market, most that are produced locally and by small, family-run businesses. Start your search for sustainable Christmas gifts by venturing to a weekend farmers market and support local traders. When it comes to transporting them, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our compostable wine bags and multi-use shopping bags as alternative ways to carry your gifts from point A to point B instead of the usual plastic bag.
- Use compostable packaging.
If you plan on sending little gifts to friends in other states or overseas, make sure the mail bag you choose is biodegradable. Our Compostable Courier Bags can be disposed of into the home compost bin after use and will return completely and harmlessly back to the earth.
- Compost your food waste.
We know there’s a lot of eating to do over the Christmas period and inevitably, there will be wasted offcuts and binned leftovers. Instead of sending those food scraps to landfill, compost them instead. Use a Compostable Bin Liner or Produce Bag to capture all your rejected morsels while you’re prepping your meal, and then another bin liner to scrape the plates into after you’ve finished eating. The whole bag, full of scraps, can then be deposited straight into the compost heap, which will turn into fertiliser for your garden. If you don’t have a home compost, you can drop any compostable items into your local council’s commercial composting facility.
- Avoid disposable plates and cutlery.
We understand; the convenience of disposable dinnerware is appealing. It saves many hands helping to wash and dry the dishes after the meal, but it also takes a huge toll on the environment. While it might only spend an hour being used during your mealtime, it will then sit in landfill for hundreds of years (or even more). Consider your impact this season when faced with choosing momentary convenience over the health of the planet.
- Choose a sustainable Christmas tree.
While plastic trees are generally used many years in a row, eventually, they will be discarded into the trash. The majority are made from non-degradable, non-recyclable plastics and metals that won’t decompose. A living tree, on the other hand, is a renewable resource that’s completely biodegradable and can be returned back to the earth as mulch after you’ve finished with it.
Keep these sustainability tips in mind when making decisions about shopping, wrapping, cooking, and decorating this year.
Let’s face it, you probably won’t be able to avoid plastic completely this festive season, but every small change counts, and we’ve all got to start somewhere.