We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas together more than ever this year. It is a joyous time to celebrate the birth of Christ, but can we do this while caring for God’s creation? The Camberwell, Balwyn & Deepdene (CBD) Sustainability Committee would like to share some ideas to help make your Christmas as sustainable as you desire. Check out our tips to reduce your carbon footprint over Christmas with less waste and amazing gift ideas, and have a very Merry Christmas.
Reduce your carbon footprint…
- Encourage your family and friends to adopt Kris Kringle, Stealing Santa or other giving that means each person receives one gift.
- Buy gifts with minimal packaging.
- Avoid gifts with batteries as they inevitably end up as toxic waste.
- Give a gift that your loved one really needs or wants.
- Buy from a secondhand store, op shop or garage sale.
- Give a gift purchased from your favourite charity (a MAMI Christmas Card or Catholic Mission gift).
- How about giving a plant, an experience, a subscription to a digital magazine, gym membership, or restaurant voucher or a piece of jewelry you no longer wear that they will love?
- Make your gift.
- Know where and how your gifts are made – are they ethically and sustainably sourced? See Vic gifts, Vic country gifts and the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand
- Use alternatives to paper (scarves, tea towels, aprons, magazines, children’s artwork, reused wrap).
- Make your own cards.
- Avoid using metallic or glossy paper, as it is difficult to recycle.
- Avoid using tape if you are using paper so that the paper may be recycled.
- Sort wrapping and dispose of it through correct recycling channels.
- Reuse decorations from last year or buy second hand decorations if you need more.
- Use LED lighting if you are decorating with lights and remember to turn them off when you go to bed.
- Use a real Christmas tree in a pot year after year!
- Use locally grown produce that is in season for your Christmas meal.
- Avoid bottled water and soft drinks.
- Pick a special wine to share from your cellar.
- Ask friends and family to bring plates, glasses and cutlery if you don’t have enough rather than buying more.
- Shop at second hand stores or op shops for Christmas decorations, plates, glasses, cutlery and extra chairs.
- Reduce single use items, only buy what you need, see zero waste for more ideas.
- Give leftover foods to your guests to take home.
- Compost food that cannot be passed on.
- Recycle anything you can’t save to use for next year once the celebrating is finished and all your food has been consumed. Boroondara waste and recycling website can tell you where.
By Julie Douglas and the Sustainability Committee