Sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now and we are all doing what we can to be as green as possible. As Christmas approaches, we think about family get-togethers, decorating our homes and enjoying some downtime. So ‒ how can you be more sustainable this festive season?
Consider a sustainable Christmas tree
This year, why not consider a more sustainable Christmas tree rather than a fake one or one that has been cut down? A living Christmas tree in a pot will not only give you pleasure this year, but you can put it outside after the festive season and use it again next year (as long as you take care of it).
Remember that living trees absorb carbon dioxide and release it back into the air as oxygen. That’s definitely good for our planet. You could even plant the tree in your garden once Christmas is over and get a new living tree for next year. Or, consider giving it to a family member as a Christmas gift.
And, you don’t just have to consider a pine either. Why not look at some of our lovely natives like lilly pilly, callistemon (bottlebrush) or even a grevillea or banksia? Many of these species would look lovely decorated for the festive season and will survive for a short time indoors if you remember to water them.
What about sustainable Christmas decorations?
The shops are now filled with bright and colourful Christmas decorations and it can be a challenge to walk away from them. But, if you want to be more sustainable, why not use natural items that you can find in your garden or down at the local park?
Look for brightly coloured berries, gum nuts, and even fallen pinecones. You can get the grandkids involved by painting these up and using them to decorate your tree. What’s even better is that after Christmas you can either save them for next year or dispose of them in your green bin.
Also, consider using solar lights outside rather than those that use electricity. You can even spend an afternoon getting crafty by using foliage, nuts, and berries from the garden to make your own Christmas wreath.
Think about sustainable Christmas wrapping
Forget the fancy Christmas wrapping paper this year that just gets thrown out after Christmas. Instead, think about wrapping your gifts creatively using useful items such as tea towels, lovely scarves, table runners, or even just brown paper that you can decorate yourself.
For other gift ideas, instead of purchasing new Christmas stockings, why not buy some funky socks and stuff these with some small goodies for the grandkids?
Don’t forget to shop locally for your Christmas gifts to help support local businesses and artisans in your area. For even more sustainability, consider edible gifts, pots of flowers or herbs for garden lovers, or gift vouchers for services such as massages, lawn mowing, or movie tickets.
Use sustainable party cutlery and crockery
These days, almost every home has a dishwasher. Therefore, it’s far better to use your own crockery and cutlery if you’re having Christmas lunch at your place. Plus, there are sure to be plenty of hands to help you clean up.
For larger outdoor gatherings, if you must use disposable cutlery, consider using bamboo utensils instead. Bamboo is a sustainable resource that is freely available and breaks down, unlike plastic cutlery that will remain in landfill for years and often ends up in our oceans. And nowadays, you can buy paper plates that will handle even mounds of food.
Make it easy for your guests to recycle
For things like bottles and cans, make sure you have a dedicated bin or bucket in an easy-to-reach location that your guests can drop their empties into. This makes clean-up easier for you and stops things from ending up in landfill that could otherwise be recycled.
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