While Christmas is all about giving and caring for each other, it’s key to not neglect the planet during the silly season. Planet Ark has created these 12 tips to help you along the way:
1. Buy good-quality decorations that can be reused year after year, or maybe try to create your own.
2. Install a recycling station at your workplace Christmas party and make sure the signs are clear so that there’s no mistakes despite how much fun may be had.
3. Consider giving gifts with a lower environmental impact – perhaps movie tickets, or a practical and durable gift that meets a need.
4. Use paper wrapping and reuse or recycle it afterwards. For extra brownie points, buy wrapping that has recycled content.
5. Planning ahead can help reduce food waste. Keep track of your RSVPs, serve only what’s needed, and make sure to use up any leftovers.
6. Compost heaps and worm farms are ideal for your food scraps. Fruit and vegetable peelings, pits and seeds are just right for composting.
7. When getting ready to say “Cheers”, keep in mind that most of your drink packaging is recyclable, including aluminium cans, juice cartons, and glass and plastic bottles.
8. Make an effort to flatten your aluminium cans, milk and juice cartons and cardboard boxes to save space in your recycling bin. If your bin happens to be full, keep your excess rubbish aside until your next collection day, drop it off at a recycling centre, or find out if your council has additional collections available.
9. If you’re lucky enough to receive a mobile phone, recycle the old one through MobileMuster. And visit recyclingnearyou.com.au to find out what to do with unwanted electronics such as old printers and cartridges.
10. If you’re giving a battery-operated gift, provide a battery charger and rechargeable batteries as well. This will save the recipient money and reduce landfill.
11. Lessen the impact of your holiday travelling and fuel costs by paying attention to your car. Make sure the tyres are correctly inflated and the engine is tuned. Find out where to recycle old car oil, tyres and batteries at recyclingnearyou.com.au
12. Finally, if you decide to buy a live Christmas tree, see if your council has a special collection or mulching service, or whether you can take your used tree to your recycling centre.
We’re pretty sure these sustainable actions will put you permanently on Santa’s ‘nice’ list!