Enjoying a more sustainable Christmas

13 November 2014

Rubbish volumes spike by up to 30% at Christmas, and when you consider we each give, on average 16 presents to family and friends it is not surprising. There are however some tips we can remember to help minimise the impact we have on our environment. We have scoured the net to bring you the best tips to create a waste-less Christmas celebration.

Bright lights you can feel good about: LED lights

Opt for energy-efficient light strings. When they’re made using light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs), they’re 90 percent more efficient than traditional holiday lights. LEDs also last longer—up to 10,000 hours compared with 5,000 hours for standard incandescent bulbs.

Utilise timers:
All your Christmas lights should be on timers, from the strands adorning your trees to the lights outside. Don't count on remembering to turn them off after a long day and plug the lights into a timer that remembers for you. Light timers can be found at any hardware store.

Choosing the right tree:
Real trees are better than fake trees. We know the debate happens every year, but a factory farmed tree doused in pesticides and herbicides for eight years (which is typical), chopped down for Christmas, trucked to a far away destination and then tossed away after two weeks of use is still better for the environment than having a fake tree—even one that you keep using for a decade or more.

Choose Sustainable Materials:
Organic cotton, hemp, silk, wood...are all natural, renewable materials. They add texture and character to gifts, and they support sustainable farmers.

Shop Locally:
Support your community and economy by shopping locally including at the large range of markets available in Sydney.

The Gift of Charity:
Give money to a local charity, sponsor a child overseas, all in the name of your loved ones. Seeds and small trees to be planted in the ground are wonderful gifts that will grow for years to come.

Make It Fun and Easy:
Decrease spending, stress and waste by having family members draw names and sticking to a 'one gift' rule. This allows each person to get one especially thoughtful and unique gift from someone who had the time to dedicate their effort. You can also do a White Elephant gift exchange: everyone only gives gifts they find around their home with no money spent.



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