While some say it’s the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ it’s usually the most wasteful
Millions and millions of tonnes of greenhouse pollution are produced alone just from our Christmas celebrations every year!
2020 is slightly different, some of us are more ‘woke’ and consumerism is well, a bit uncool now. Sure, the planet is a bit better off because we’re not jet setting to distant lands and generating more aviation pollution however there’s so much we can do at home. Just as green is the new black, sustainability is the new sexy – think consciously and check out our tips to reduce your Christmas eco-print!
Make your Christmas even greener
Upcycle a Christmas tree or decorate a large indoor plant
Haven’t put the tree up yet? Buy second-hand, borrow, make your own or decorate indoor plants with eco-friendly decorations.
Send forest-friendly (look for the FSC mark) or digital Christmas cards
Unless you have heaps to write, a phone call or Zoom meeting over a tipple would be much more enjoyable right?
Make your own cosmetics or buy natural giftpacks
Who needs the extra chemical additives, and your rellies will love that personal touch and effort.
Make a foodie gift basket
Add in some homemade preserves and decadent raw sweet treats plus some organic wine or beer!
Purchase with purpose
Consider buying gifts that donate to charity or help to protect the environment – yes you can even buy sunglasses made from recycled fishing net! Also check out op-shops – for example you’re buying upcycled items that can support the SPCA or St Johns at the same time!
Having a few drinks?
Walk or take public transport home with some of the fandamily and reduce your carbon footprint even more.
Eat more plant-based nosh
There’s a greener and more ethical option for every traditional treat when you look for it, aside from the growing selection in supermarkets every year there are many more speciality websites, stores and meal services available. Also most of us buy much more food than we need, just purchase a bit less and compost any unwanted scraps. Avoid gifts that use palm oil or labelled ‘vegetable oil’ (usually palm). If you’re buying treats try to favour products with compostable packaging, or ones that use glass at least.
Check out the markets for some crafted gifts – support the small businesses in your region, most items are eco-friendly and haven’t used any overseas freight miles getting here.
Make your own linen Christmas crackers
Yes we could all without the extra packaging waste, not to mention the naf and useless plastic gifts inside!
Consider indoor and outdoor plants as gifts
Great for the environment, no packaging required and everyone loves them.
Buy more pre-loved items – Trade Me has revealed that 53% of survey respondents are looking to buy locally and 7% more will buy second hand this year, we’re showing some promise New Zealand!
Get creative with wrapping
Use fabric or greener materials as wrapping paper so it can be reused and not tossed in a landfill. You can also find those dinky wee pinecones on the ground in quite a few New Zealand parks and reserves to place on top for that organic touch!
Use compostable courier bags
If you’re sending explore your options, and if receiving ask companies why they aren’t using a better alternative. Some green courier bag brands are surprisingly cheaper than the standard environmentally unfriendly plastic and are very robust so there’s no excuse really.
Give books or gifts that can be shared often and continually reused
Pass it on and help save the planet while you’re at it.
Bring your own shopping bag
We’ve nailed it at the supermarket, let’s venture out elsewhere to the market and the stores..
Buy locally made clothes
Choose more ethically made, unique and low carbon footprint options for pressies, and the livelihoods of small Kiwi businesses. Sorry Wish but your photos are a bit optimistic!
Why even buy a present?
Overconsumption is so 1990 anyway! Aside from secret Santa which limits gifts to just buying one, why not just relish sharing a meal, an experience or offer to help an elderly relative out with their cumbersome gardening instead.
Whatever you do a few steps can make all the difference. Have a wonderful (and not wasteful) Christmas and Holiday Break from the Green team!