What is an eco Christmas? And how do you go about creating your own eco Christmas? 

Did you know that Christmas is THE most wasteful time of year? Workers at Kimbriki, our landfill site on the Northern Beaches, dread Christmas. The additional waste generated goes up year on year. Across the country thousands of tonnes of plastic packaging will be binned. In fact in 2017 a survey from CARE Australia found Australians used more than 150,000 kilometres of wrapping paper over Christmas – enough to wrap around the Earth’s equator almost four times!

Aiming for an eco Christmas can be challenging. Keeping in mind our mother earth whilst simultaneously being bombarded by constant advertising for consumer products is hard. One solution is to ban Christmas, or at least the giving of gifts, all together. No one wants to be the Christmas grinch though and if you take the waste factor out of Christmas, it can be a joyful time. While it’s great to give gifts, it’s not so great to add to the horrendous waste generated. Here are some ways you can work towards a more eco Christmas. 

Experiential Gifts

Encouraging experiential gifts. Take your Mum out for afternoon tea. Take your Dad to a football game. Write a hand-written voucher for baby sitting, dog sitting or watering plants. Make people’s lives easier with a thoughtful idea to help them when they need it, rather than adding clutter to their lives. 

Eco Christmas Wrapping

Choosing re-usable gift wrapping like our Good Samaritans produce bags. They come in a range of bright colours and are perfect as a bag to add some of the gift ideas we have written about in our blog this week. 

brown paper wrapping

Do you shop at the Co-op and often find yourself with leftover baking paper used to wrap bread in? I save these for re-use next time, and just started to use it to wrap presents. If you want to add colour then grab one of our Good Samaritans bags and cover the paper, tie with string and there you have a beautiful, colourful present (see image at top of page). The Good Sams bags can be re-used and they’re 25% off for the first week of December!! 

who gives a crap wrapping

The image above is the Who Gives a Crap? toilet paper wrapping from last year. These guys cleverly wrap your toilet rolls in re-usable paper that is perfect for a little present when combined with a ribbon.

boomerang bag

You can also use our Boomerang bags to wrap larger gifts. Simply put the gift in and tie the handles instead of using string. Yes, these look very much like home-made gifts, but people love the personal touch!

Your Eco Christmas Tree

wooden christmas tree

If you already have a plastic Christmas tree then the best thing you can do is re-use it year after year. When it finally needs replacement you can get creative like our wonderful former Marketing Director aka the Sustainability Queen who is making her own tree from an old pallet. You can read full DIY instructions here. We currently have wooden pallets available at your Co-op for FREE.

Buying a tree in a pot that can be re-used year upon year is another good idea. 

Post Christmas Waste Removal

When the dust settles after Christmas, there will inevitably be waste to remove. Be mindful of food waste, use leftover ham to make soup, leftover seafood to make a seafood bisque, and try not to shop for more food until you’ve finished what’s in the fridge.

For your wrapping, if you have got paper to dispose of, ensure that any cellophane, metallic, glitter or foil paper is put in your red bin, it is not recyclable and will go to landfill. Any paper wrapping can go in the yellow bin.

The City of Sydney produced an excellent guide last year, read their full blog about how to dispose of: batteries, styrofoam, electronics and more here.

From all of us at your Manly Food Co-op have a very eco Christmas and do your bit to make it earth friendly.