How To Be A Little Less Silly And A Lot More Sustainable This Christmas

Christmas is beaut. You’ve got family, pressies, sunshine and all the Chrissie Day roast you could possibly fit in your stomach. On the flipside though, you have a lot of wastage.

From wrapping paper, to unwanted presents to whatever remains of that Chrissie Day roast – the whole day can become pretty unsustainable quite fast. Avoid wastage and do better for the planet by considering a few things before you rush madly into your Yuletide planning.

1. Opt for a real tree

I know plastic Christmas trees last forever – heck, my parents’ one has been around since I was crawling – but if you’re looking to buy a new tree, skip the plastic and opt for a sustainably-grown, real tree instead.

Where plastic trees take huge amounts of energy to manufacture and will eventually end up as yet more plastic garbage, a real tree that has either been grown sustainably in a plantation or is an actual real plant that you have in a pot in your own home actually improves the state of the planet. We all have plant babies at this point, time to make them festive!

2. Consider what you’re gifting

I know a lot of people wait until the week before Christmas to go present shopping. I have never come across one of these last-minute shoppers who isn’t in a complete panic and buying whatever vaguely seems like an appropriate gift for their loved ones. Starting earlier in the year and putting real consideration into what you’re buying someone means it’s much less likely to end up in the bin.

Doing a little more research also means you can find a gift that will make the person who receives it happy, but will also help make the world a better place. Like when you buy anything from The Body Shop in November and December.

They’ve partnered with Plan International to help empower girls and young women in Indonesia and Brazil by providing training to help them start their own business, or helping them find employment in a safe and fair environment. A portion of your purchase will go towards the goal of raising £250,000 (about AUD$475,000) for the cause.

3. Reduce your plastic packaging

On the gifting note, putting in an effort to minimise the packaging used on your gifts can make a huge difference to how much ends up in a tip. This doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to find companies that only wrap their products in organic hemp.

It can be as simple as checking that the shops you go into have plastic policies like the ones in place at The Body Shop. They’ve started initiatives to help the plastic crisis such as using Community Trade recycled plastic from India where possible and implementing a  recycling program to give members a discount for every five empty products returned to store.

You can also rethink your wrapping paper and gift bags as most of them have an element of plastic. Try a little DIY project, or go the old newspaper route – it’s always cute, but especially so if you stencil some Xmas images over the top.

4. Prevent food wastage

Eating lunch leftovers for the next week is a tried and true Christmas tradition that needs to be respected. However, just a few tweaks will make sure that you do actually get to eat that food before it goes bad.

The first is to meal plan for the number of people you have attending your celebrations so you have an appropriate amount of leftovers. The second is to make sure you’re storing your food properly to keep it fresh for longer. Here’s a great guide if you need some tips.

5. Use biodegradable crackers

No Christmas lunch is complete without crackers. Is it really Chrissie without those terrible dad jokes? No, it is not. However, those wrappers and plastic toys are more likely than not to end up being yet more rubbish taking up space in another landfill. Keep the fun but also ditch the environment damage by choosing biodegradable Christmas crackers.

I won’t lie to you, they will cost a little more, but they’ll also help save your planet which is obviously more important.

There you have it, a few easy little tweaks to make your Christmas a sustainable one that actually does bring joy to the world.