This week marks the first day of December and 3 weeks until Christmas. We believe that Christmas is the season for gifts and giving, but it doesn’t have to be a burden on the planet. With a little effort and imagination, we could reduce the environmental impact to help celebrate the season while caring for the earth.
Christmas time is full of laughter and fun, but also a lot of waste. With big meals, buying gifts and using so much wrapping paper we all have multiple options be environmentally responsible this festival season. Here are some tips and tricks in having a zero-waste Christmas this festive season.
1. Plastic vs Real Christmas tree
Setting up the Christmas tree is a big part of Christmas. Real Christmas trees are a renewable resource and cause relatively low pollution, as long as it is properly disposed of. A natural tree that is sent to landfill would end up releasing up to 16kg of CO2 however a tree that is properly disposed of (transplanted, burned, chipped) releases only 3.5kg of CO2. By comparison an artificial tree is generally made from plastic and has a bigger carbon footprint, reaching 40kg of CO2. Although they aren't renewable, artificial trees are re-useable and if you go with this option it is recommended you look for an artificial tree that you will re-use for at least the next 12 years to make it a sustainable option.
2. Recycling and reusable gifts
Locally crafted gifts can be made from recycled sources and reusable toys can be given to those in need. Battery-free toys are a great example of toys that can be donated and consider regifting gifts that are not needed for a sustainable Christmas.
3. Revamping Decorations
Christmas decorations add to the festive spirit and have long been a part of many Christmas traditions. Recyclable household items such as plastic cups, milk bottle lids and toilet paper tubes can be a great way to use your creativity and get the kids involved in making these crafty decorations.
Christmas is always an excellent time of year to connect with family and friends. This Christmas consider how you might be able to spark joy and be sustainable at the same time!