Plastic free tree

It's that time of year again. The twinkle lights are up, trees are filled with shiny and sparkly ornaments. Mariah's playing on loop in the background...yes, it’s officially the Christmas season!

Christmas is often a time of excess and over-consumption. While it might be tempting to get swept away by the festivities and the consumer hype… there is a way to be swept away by all the pretty lights and not feel like a grinch! Here are some simple tips on how you can have a truly green Christmas while being kind to the environment: 

1.  Use What You Have

The easiest way to minimise Christmas waste is to use what you have. If you already own a plastic Christmas tree – keep it! A plastic tree should last you years but if you don't have one, have you considered a real tree? While pine trees are traditional, they aren’t native to Australia and can be hard to find. Why not opt for Australia's unique fauna with a real native tree or an indoor plant you already have at home? The hottest Christmas trend this year is decorated pineapples - great for people with small apartments or on a tight budget.

Pineapple tree

2.  Christmas Cards and Wrapping

Did you know most wrapping paper is not recyclable? Single-use plastics contained in gift packaging, wrapping paper and decorations also go directly to landfill and are bad for the environment. If you had the foresight to save previous year's wrapping, you can use Christmas wrapping from previous years, use that. Otherwise use plain paper, newspaper or even cloth, and decorate with jute twine and native greenery. Tie a sprig of rosemary and pine cone, or even a stick of cinnamon for a Chrismassy touch.

Christmas Wrapping

3.  The Christmas Feast

Christmas entertaining is probably the biggest challenge. While meal planning can help, try to choose dishes keep well as leftovers and be realistic about how much people will eat. If you plan on cooking up a storm, think of meals that could use up any excess foods, or simply ask your guests to bring reusuable containers so they don't have to cook for the rest of the week - it's a win-win for everyone!

Don’t forget to keep your guests hydrated with a BRITA jug of fresh filtered water. 

Christmas Feast

4. Thoughtful gifts

A national survey estimated that in Christmas 2018, $400m was spent on 10 million unwanted gifts many of which end up in landfill. Topping the list of unwanted gifts were novelty items, candles, pyjamas and pamper products. Be thoughtful rather than topical to ensure your loved ones get a gift they truly treasure. Here's a few ideas:

    • Support Australian rural businesses and communities, such as the #BuyfromtheBush initiative, who are either facing the drought or rebuilding their homes from the devastating bushfires 
    • Consider shopping for ethical and sustainable products, such as BRITA's reusable fill&go bottles 
    • Giving the gift of charity and supporting great causes such as Oxfam tackling worldwide poverty, and WWF who are saving our endangered koalas

    Be creative and make it yourself! Nothing reflects your love and care more than handmade gifts, such as crafts or foods like cakes, Christmas cookies, jams and chutneys (the list goes on!). Click here for some inspiration.

    Sustainable Gifts