It’s that time of year again! We’re picking out gifts, putting up decorations, and the meal planning is about to begin. Yes, it’s almost Christmas!
We love this time of year here at Eco Food Wrap. But, unfortunately, Christmas has also become a time synonymous with abundance and, sadly, excessive waste. From food to broken, cheap and plastic toys, and unwanted gifts, Christmas brings with it thousands of tons of landfill waste every year.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways we can make simple changes to reduce our impact on the environment.
Here are some of our favourite ideas.
9 Ways to enjoy an eco-friendly Christmas & New Year:
1. Make your own wrapping paper and gift tags
Thousands of tons of wrapping paper, cards and gift tags end up in landfill each year. Be mindful and recycle where you can or, even better, try your hand at making your own from recycled and repurposed materials.
Here’s some great ideas to get you started;
Recycle newspaper, butcher paper or even old maps and/or manuscripts.
Use old and/or partly damaged decorations to give gifts some Christmas flare.
Repurpose handy household items to use instead, like tea-towels, hand-towels or even beach towels.
Fabric bags that can be used for shopping afterwards are always good too.
Eco Food Wrap could even make great repurposed Christmas wrap. Check out our range of prints here.
2. Reuse / recycle old Gift Paper
An oldie but a goodie, salvage as much Christmas paper as you can to use next year. Gift boxes and bags are especially good for this one. All can be carefully stored and used again, and is a much greener choice.
3. Be mindful when buying your Christmas tree
Plastic vs. real is a tough one and one of recent debate. While plastic is reusable and will last you years to come, it will eventually end up in landfill and we know how damaging plastic can be. Buying a live tree each year isn’t always ideal either with most ending in landfill in the end.
At Eco Food Wrap, we’re proudly plastic free. And let’s face it, you really can’t beat the fresh scent of Christmas pine to get you in the Christmas spirit.
We recommend opting for a real live tree with roots that you can keep for years to come. The Albany Woolly bush is a good choice. This Australian native has soft, silver green foliage with beautiful red flowers, requires little pruning, grows to an ideal Christmas tree size and, when properly cared for, does relatively well in a pot.
If you buy a cut live tree instead, just ensure you cut it down for green bin disposal, compost it or use it as mulch.
4. Go for organic, fresh and quality food
The Australian climate is ideal for salads, fresh fruit and vegetables, all of which are much better for your health and the environment. Fill the table with more of these and avoid the temptation to overdo it with meat and/or traditional baked dinners.
While you’re at it, skimp a little on the pesticides this year. Try and buy organic where you can. It tastes better and is better for the land it’s farmed on and for you.
5. Get outdoors
If you’re fortunate enough to have an outdoor living area, get out there and make the most of it. Avoid the temptation of air con and have a BBQ or picnic and dine outside.
Make the space into your very own sustainable oasis and purchase some big plants and get decorating.
Even if you don’t have a secluded outdoor living space, there’s always a nearby park or the beach to enjoy the fresh air with your friends and family. It’s an Australian tradition after all.
6. Give more eco-friendly gifts
Be mindful of the gifts you buy and opt for more environmentally friendly instead.
For example, you could;
Give preowned or recycled gifts. You’d be surprised what great stuff you can find and you’ll save money at the same time.
Make gifts to give instead. Get crafty or arty if you have the flare. They’ll appreciate it more for the personal touch and effort put in.
Buy gifts that help build a sustainable environment. Make it a plant, a donation or introduce them to sustainable habits with reusable products. Eco Food Wrap is a great way to help loved ones start reducing their plastic consumption. See our range here
Buy local. Not only are you supporting your local businesses, you’ll also reduce the impact of global and local shipping pollution.
7. Buy gifts that won’t end up in landfill
Buy gifts that are going to last and going to be kept. Buy things that are meaningful and with thought put in. Avoid the cheap plastic and novelty toys that will get broken or forgotten, and inevitably end up in landfill.
8. Avoid the temptation of disposables
Christmas also mean Christmas parties and end of year celebrations. BBQ’s and picnics are also popular over the summer break. It’s tempting to opt for the plastic and disposable straws and cups for convenience, but we all know what happens to these.
To make your Christmas get-togethers a little more green, avoid disposable straws, plates and cups where possible. Otherwise, ensure they’re at least plastic free. There are many other more sustainable, plastic free options out there if you really have to go disposable.
9. Store food so it lasts longer, and store it sustainably
There’s not much better meals than Christmas lunch or dinner. Except, of course, for the Christmas leftovers that is.
Don’t let your left overs go to waste. There are loads of creative cooking ideas around to help you use them up. Or eat them as they are over the following days.
To make them stay fresh for longer, and store them without plastic waste, try our range of Eco Food Wrap Christmas Wraps – see range here. Eco Food Wraps are the ideal, plastic free alternative to single use cling wrap.
Whatever you do, we hope you and your family have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
For more ways to go green and enjoy an eco-friendly holiday season, be sure to follow us on our Facebook and Instagram pages.