Christmas is my favourite time of the year, however I'd be lying if I said I didn't experience a lil bit of eco anxiety when seeing the mountains of wasted food, presents, and decorations each year.
The good news is, people are already trying to reduce their impact over the Christmas period!
Research shows that the most popular ways Australians reduce waste over Christmas include saving leftovers for Boxing Day (57%), reusing old wrapping paper (40%), writing and sticking to shopping lists (39%), and finding out what people want before purchasing their gift (37%)!!
Whether you're an eco-expert or just starting out on your sustainable journey, in this blog we'll talk about how we can all raise these numbers with our eco-friendly Christmas tips below:
Conscious Christmas Trees
Photo via: @_.chelseaham._
Who said eco-friendly trees can't look gorgeous?! Check out this idea from one of our lovely customers, Chelsea combined sticks, string and wooden decorations. Super simple, a fun DIY with the fam, and no more of those annoying green plastic things from the tree branches floating around the house!
Hot tip, try collecting dried natives, flowers, and pinecones as decorations (keep scrolling to see our DIY dried orange ornaments...).
Get Crafty With Decorations
Dried orange ornaments:
Photo via Harris Farms
These babies bring life to your tree, wreath, gift wrapping and around the home! Another zero waste Christmas activity with the fam, did we mention they are compostable at the end of their life?!
What you'll need:
How to make:
- Slice oranges into thin slices & remove any seeds
- Line your baking tray with your reusable baking mat
- Place oranges on baking tray and bake at 120 degrees for 2.5 - 3 hours, flipping them over half way 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!
During Christmas 2018, an estimated $400 million was spent on 10 million gifts that were unwanted. Eeeeeeek! Here are our tips for avoiding unwanted gifts:
Ask your loved one& explain they are honestly doing you both a favour by telling you want that want. It'll save you time and indecisiveness and save them having to figure out what they'll do with a gift they won't use!
- Use a Wishlist or Gift Registery! Most websites (including us) have a Wishlist feature that allows you to add items you are eyeing off and share the list via email or social media with family and friends. Awesome, right?! Check our Wishlist feature out here.
Gift Cards! Let them choose with a gift card, these guys take plastic-free gifting to a whole new level!!
Gift Guides! Stuck for ideas? Check out our Conscious Gift Guide, we've tailored it to cater for certain budgets and people! This makes it easier for you to find eco friendly gifts that are 100% toxin-free, sustainably packaged, and owned by Aussie brands for your loved ones!
According to CARE Australia, Aussies use around 150,000 km's of wrapping paper during the festive season...That's enough to wrap the world almost 4 times! Most gift wrap is not recyclable due to poor quality, plastic foiling, and glitter...eeeeeep!
Zero Waste Gift Wrap Alternatives
Want to avoid contributing to this stat and still make your sustainable gift look gorgeous?! Our earth loving alternatives to gift wrap include:
I love re-using wrapping paper from the previous year. Keep that in mind this year and bring a bag with you to the Christmas party so you can collect the used paper. *hot tip* make sure everyone unwraps their gift super slow to protect the paper.
DIY your own plastic-free gift tags with watercolour paints and compostable paper. Use our Silicone Baking Mat as a craft worksheet to protect your surfaces from messes!
You can still have pretty looking gifts without costing the planet!
Did you know we offer free (plastic-free) gift wrapping?! Simply add a note to your order requesting which items you'd like gift wrapped.
Avoid single-use whilst baking and catering for larger groups with our reusable essentials below:
Silicone Baking Mats: You can break-up with single use baking paper for good! These reusable and zero waste baking mats are made from FDA & LFBG certified silicone and can withstand temperatures of up to 240 degrees. Did we mention they are reusable, durable, easy to clean (dishwasher safe), and free from plastic. *woot woot*
Silicone Food Covers:The perfect waste-free & plastic-free alternative to single-use cling wrap to seal dishes, bowls, plates, cans, cups, fruit and veggies. Their 100% food-grade silicone material allows them to be see-through and airtight while keeping your food fresher for longer. Even though they have a round shape, they are stretchy enough to fit over a variety of different shaped containers. They even help open those challenging jars!
Reusable Beeswax Wraps:These babies are also a sustainable alternative to plastic cling wrap! They are made from cotton fabric, beeswax and oils, which means they will mould around bowls, plates, cheese, fruit, sandwiches, and more with the warmth of your hands! They are reusable, easy to wash, and compostable at end of life! Check out the range of gorgeous colours here.
Reusable Silicone Pouches: Take your party prep to the next level with these reusable zip lock bags. You can use them to marinate potatoes, store cut up veggies, meat, sandwiches, leftovers, and frozen yummies!
Experts say we produce up to 50% more waste during the festive season. Bring your own eating and drinking utensils to avoid single-use items that are not recyclable or compostable:
Or if you're the host, encourage guests to bring them too!
Once the party is over, clean your home with products that are safe for you & the planet. Here are our top cleaning besties...
The Zero Hero Cleaning Pack: This baby includes 4 Bamboo and Plant Fibre Brushes, a Dish & Laundry Block, and a Reclaimed Wooden Soap Holder. The Dish & Laundry Block can be used to clean your dishes, clothes, hands, and surfaces, click here to read how! Shop our other cleaning packs here.
Dish Cloths: These compostable dish cloths are made from plants and are perfect for wiping down tables, cupboards, and more! They come in the coolest colours, the perfect stocking filler too!
Make it easy for your guests and minimise the amount of waste heading to landfill by having a labelled bin station with the following:
- Food Scraps (no meat depending on your composter)
- Soft Plastics
Compost your food scraps with the Urban Composter, recycle items in your kerbside bin (head to the Planet Ark guides to see what your local council accepts), and finally a soft plastic bin that can be recycled through the RedCycle program at your local Coles and Woollies! You can take it one step further and get paid to recycle your cans and bottles through a container refundorganisation. *woot woot*
Thank you for having a conscious Christmas, your impact is far bigger than you think! If you liked the above tips, share them with your family and friends, follow our social media, and subscribe to our newsletterfor more zero waste Christmas tips!
Wishing you a merry, sustainable, and guilt-free Christmas!
Ellie & the GFZ team xx