Did you know that families all over Australia are already taking steps to reduce waste at Christmas time by making simple, sustainable swaps? This includes57% of Aussies who save leftovers from Christmas lunch, 40% who reuse wrapping paper, and 39% that stick to their shopping lists and ask for gifting hints!
Looking at these statistics, it’s pretty cool to see that keeping Christmas eco-friendly isn’t really that challenging!
Of course, whether you’re an eco-newbie or a seasoned sustainable spokesperson, there’s always more we can do to save the planet - especially in the holiday season.
If you’re ready to ditch the food, gift, and decor waste this year, we’ve got you covered. Follow along for the zero-waste Christmas tips and DIYs you need to go as green as a Christmas tree this year!
Eco Christmas Decorations
First up on our zero-waste Christmas wishlist is a tree without the toxins!
From your tree itself to the decorations you dress it up with, the holiday industry is great at convincing us we need oodles of plastic to spread holiday cheer. Unfortunately, many families discard their decorations after just a season or two in favour of the newest, most stylish look.
If you’re on the hunt for a sustainable way to show your style this year, consider switching up your traditional tree for a conscious Christmas alternative!
Conscious Christmas Tree
Photo via: @_.chelseaham._
This crafty and beautiful DIY tree from one of our lovely customers, Chelsea, is a fantastic illustration of what you can do with some sticks, string, and wooden decorations!
If you’re looking for a more traditional approach, give DIY ornament making a try or pick up aChristmas crafting kit to get your kiddos in on the eco-friendly decorating!
Not sure where to start? Try out these fun and easy Orange Slice Ornaments for a plastic-free solution that’s affordable and beautiful!
DIY Dried Orange Ornaments
What you'll need:
How to make:
- Slice oranges into thin slices & remove any seeds
Line your baking tray with yourreusable baking mat
- Place oranges on a baking tray and bake at 100 degrees for 2 hours, flipping them halfway through.
- Monitor them to avoid burning, you want the skin to look completely dehydrated and the flesh to be golden orange.
- Let them cool completely and get crafty with your jute string and accessories!
Use them to decorate your tree, make a wreath, fancy up your eco-wrapping, or your Christmas day cocktail! Our favourite part of these sweet decorations is that they are fully compostable at the end of their life!
Next up - your Christmas shopping list! It’s no question that Christmas shopping is a little different this year, however, the short stock and long shipping times shouldn’t force you into wasteful gift buying. We have a wide range of toxin-free, sustainably packaged and Australian owned gifts, and to make it easier we've created a conscious gift guide that helps you shop by budget, person or values!
If you’re feeling the pressure to tick off your Christmas list, start as early as possible and stick to your guns! Here are a few ways to reduce wasteful gifting:
Ask for Wishlists
During the holiday season in 2018, it’s estimated that around$400 million was spent on gifts that weren’t even wanted. That’s a whole lot of waste (both money and material)!
To keep your gifts from an express trip to the landfill, ask your loved ones what they really want and insist on ‘hints’. Let them know they are doing you both a favour by being honest so you can ensure they score something they will actually use!
If you’re giving hints to your family and friends for yourself, consider creating a registry or wishlist on your favourite sites to keep track of what you’d really like and make sharing easy as pie! Did we mention…we have a Wishlist feature on our site?!
When in doubt, a gift card is a safe (and sustainable) bet!
Rather than guessing sizes or purchasing items that aren’t quite what you wanted to gift, give your loved ones a gift card and let them put it to good use themselves. Who knows, they may even land an awesome boxing-day sale on an item they’ve been eyeing up for ages!
If you’re looking for a fun way to make it pop, consider getting creative with your cards. Things like theSow n’ Sow seed cards are a perfect and thoughtful gifting idea that is eco-friendly and encourages an appreciation for the little joys in life!
Take your gifting to the next level by reducing, reusing, and recycling what you already have to make crafty and creative DIY gifts!
Make art pieces from your garden flowers, create and gift homemade ornaments, or give the gift of an experience rather than items! The sky is the limit!
Finally, no matter what you decide to gift this Christmas, we encourage you to look into the specifics before ordering your gifts.
Where possible, purchase from brands within Australia, look into packaging and disposal instructions, and support businesses who are working hard to support the causes you believe in!
Once you’ve selected your eco-friendly gifts, it’s time to wrap them up and pop them under the tree. Unfortunately, According to CARE Australia, Aussies use around150,000 km's of wrapping paper during the festive season. That's enough to wrap the world almost 4 times!
And of course, most of that wrapping paper isn’t recyclable due to the mix of plastics, paper, and decorative elements like foil.
Fortunately, you don’t need rolls of cheaply made wrapping paper to make your gifts look gorgeous - here are our favourite alternatives:
If you’ve got a few rolls left over from last year or have saved old gift bags and wrapping throughout the year, use these up through the holiday season!
Finally - top it off with DIY gift tags on compostable paper!
When in doubt, choose companies that offer plastic-free gift wrapping right from their warehouse! When you place an order with us, simply add a note to your order requesting which items you'd like gift wrapped.
We all know that cooking Christmas lunch can be a big job - and with all that prep comes a lot of baking paper, cling wrap, and containers!
If you’re looking to make your cooking more zero-waste Christmas-friendly, this year, consider picking up a few sustainable helpers to make the process a breeze!
Silicone baking matsare the perfect replacement for single-use baking paper and can be used for dish after dish to make cleanup a breeze!
When it comes to covering and storing food until the big event, turn to oursilicone food covers orbeeswax food wraps to get the job done without any sticky, soft-plastic waste.
Need more space in the fridge? Look no further thanreusable silicone food pouches to contain and condense anything you need in the fridge or freezer. The best part about these puppies is that you can even reheat your sauces, marinades, or even leftovers right in the bag!
According to experts, we produce up to50% more waste during the festive season. This is unsurprising given the number of parties, dinners, and lunches we attend to spread joy with all of our loved ones at Christmas.
If you’re headed to a Christmas party, consider bringing your own eating and drinking utensils to avoid single-use items that are not recyclable or compostable.
Here are our favourite Christmas meal essentials:
If you're hosting, encourage your guests to bring along their favourite waste-reducers too!
Christmas Clean Up
As the joyous occasion comes to an end, there’s just one thing left to do - clean up.
Of course, not all cleaning products are safe for you or the planet. Beyond waste, the chemicals and toxins we wash down the drain can contaminate our earth and leave us feeling rashy and irritated.
Make the swap to a safer cleaning solution this Christmas with theZero-waste Cleaning Pack. This baby includes 4 Bamboo and Plant Fibre Brushes, a Dish & Laundry Block, and a Reclaimed Wooden Soap Holder. TheDish & Laundry Block can be used to clean your dishes, clothes, hands, and surfaces,click here to read how!
You can ditch single-use products in your cleaning routine too! Swap your paper towels forcompostable dishcloths that are made from plants and are perfect for wiping down tables, cupboards, and more
When it comes to rubbish, consider setting up a bin station to make proper waste disposal simple and easy for you and your guests.
Set your station up with bins labeled for each of the following:
- Food Scraps (no meat depending on your composter)
- Soft Plastics
Compost your food scraps with theUrban Composter orSubpod backyard composter. Place recyclable items in your curbside bin (head to thePlanet Ark guides to see what your local council accepts), check out your nearestTerracycle collection location for hard to recycle items like coffee pods, and send your soft plastics to theRedCycle program at your local Coles and Woollies! You can take it one step further and get paid to recycle your cans and bottles through acontainer refund organisation. *woot woot*
A Zero-Waste Christmas for All!
From a conscious Christmas tree to easy and toxin-free clean up, we hope you enjoyed these zero-waste Christmas tips and tricks!
Don’t forget to share these tips with your friends and family and spread the conscious holiday cheer in 2021! Want more tips and tricks for a sustainable holiday season?Subscribe to our newsletter for all the tips, tricks, and DIY ideas you need to make this Christmas a conscious one!