Want to be a little bit greener this Christmas, but not too sure where to begin? Read on to find some tips and tricks to help you on your way.
Did you know that you could rent a Christmas tree? Real Christmas Trees are more sustainable than artificial ones. In fact, one study concluded you'd have to use your fake fir for 20 years for it to be greener, and the majority aren’t recycled.
So why not rent your Christmas tree this year, and once you are finished your tree can then be replanted to carry on growing. Find out more here.
Avoid single-use tablecloths and napkins. Instead, use material versions which have a longer lifecycle than their paper equivalents. Use sustainable products like biodegradable & eco wipes & nappies.
Door wreaths are a popular choice and come in many different styles. Ideally go for a real, fresh wreath made using seasonal, natural foliage and adornments. If these are too costly, perhaps pick up a very basic one, which you can then add to (any excess or broken branches from your Christmas tree are always good addition, pinecones etc). Alternatively, have a go at making your own out of fabric that will last year after year. There are lots of creative ideas online.
Children love to get involved in the build-up to Christmas. Older ones could help with making place names for the Christmas table.
Use LED lights on your Christmas tree, they use less energy, last longer and look just as good! Also, switch off your lights at night - it's safer and won’t cost the earth.
When it comes to eco-friendly Christmas decorations, LEDs use up to 80% less energy. Switch to solar-powered lights outdoors and put both sets on a timer. You'll not only make environmental savings, but your energy bills will be reduced too.
Quality not quantity
Over half of NZ adults say they have received gifts they don't want at Christmas. When buying gifts think: less but better, putting the time into picking a quality item that will last a long time. This reduces the chances of gifts going to waste and can be better for your wallet!
Think about materials
Look at the materials gifts are made from and keep sustainability in mind. Avoid single plastics items that can’t be recycled and look for things like Organic-certified food and products.
Buy used toys
Choosing used toys or games is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. For those who have younger children, they won’t be able to tell the difference between new and old toys.
The benefits of buying used toys means toxins and pollutants are not added to the environment and they do not require new resources from the planet or energy to produce. Recycling toys also helps the environment by keeping plastic and fabric out of landfills. Plus you can save a few pennies in the process.
Wrap gifts with recycled paper or fabric
More than half of us re-use last year's wrapping paper, what many of us don't realise though is that many rolls contain non-recyclable elements like foil, glitter or plastic.
When it comes to wrapping paper, go for a recycled variety, or simply wrap your presents in brown paper and re-usable ribbon or eco-friendly paper tape. OR try wrapping gifts with fabric instead, using colourful fabric squares that can be re-used again and again.
Your gifts will look festive and authentic, and you’ll save money too.