Over $400 million was spent on 10 million unwanted gifts during the Christmas period in 2019 and on average our waste increases by around 30%. No wonder it is called the silly season.
Here are some tips on how to reduce your waste and be more sustainable this Christmas.
It is believed that millions and millions of Christmas cards end up in landfill each Christmas. Some cards are more sustainable than others, while other are wrapped in plastic and made with materials that won’t decompose. When looking for Christmas cards, opt for recycled paper options without plastic finishes or plastic wraps on them. Or if you have little ones - reuse their artwork they have created over the year and create some fun DIY tags.
CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS
Decorations for Christmas trees have changed so much over the years, with plenty of DIY and creative options. From dried flowers, to native plants and dried fruit. The options are endless. When purchasing new decorations choose natural materials such as wood, ceramic, paper or glass. Create your own bon bons for your tree using paper and recycled toilet roll holders and then fill them yourself!
You don’t need to buy new Christmas paper every year. Let’s be honest, it ends up in the bin two seconds after the presents are unwrapped. Reuse, reuse, reuse. Fabric pieces are a great option, kid’s artworks or even reuse wrapping paper you have collected over time. If you do need to purchase wrapping paper for Christmas, that’s ok! There are plenty of sustainable wrapping paper options. Opt for rolls that aren’t wrapped in plastic and that are 100% paper (with no plastic finishes), so they can be recycled after Christmas.
I grew up with advent calendars. They are such an exciting ritual for the month leading up to Christmas. But you don’t need to buy the versions with the plastic inside them. There are so many fun options out there now. From reusable cotton advent calendars that you can fill yourself, to paper bags hanging like little Santa sacks.
Each year, so many Christmas gifts are disposed of or unwanted. The amount of plastic toys and gifts that end up in landfill is just awful and completely unnecessary. Here are some great ways to gift sustainably this Christmas:
- Less is more! Instead of buying your nephew 5 cheap, plastic gifts, buy them one beautiful, long lasting gift that they will treasure.
- Buy local! This is an important one. Buy from small businesses that use eco practices. When you purchase local you know where it is made, who makes it and you also support a local family too!
- Ditch cheap department stores! I get it. Department stores are great, they have very enticing, cheap Christmas gift ideas. But there is just sooooo much wrong with them. Most designs they have usually been ripped off and copied from a small business. To keep costs low, products are made cheaply and poorly overseas, paying tiny amounts to overseas manufacturing to produce and lastly, created using nasty plastic or toxic materials.
- Buy your loved ones an experience or something you know they need or will use.