Considerations for a Sustainable Festive Season

Christmas is right around the corner bringing with it the stress of organising Christmas lunch, finding presents for those picky people and the annoyance of spending prolonged periods of time with family members in confined spaces. 

Yet, in all the hustle and bustle of December, the festive season can place additional pressure on the environment what with increased waste to landfill, rampant consumerism and increased emissions to the atmosphere.  With a little imagination it is possible to celebrate the festive season and have a sustainable Christmas which can reduce the environmental pressures on the earth.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind to prepare and celebrate a sustainable Christmas.   

Cards and Wrapping Paper1

One of the biggest sources of waste each Christmas is wrapping paper and cards with more than 8000 tonnes used annually – that’s 50,000 trees!  Making small changes to the choice of Christmas cards and wrapping paper can have a huge impact on the amount of waste entering landfill.

Gifts1

Buying gifts can often be an incredibly difficult, expensive and overwhelming exercise.  The gesture of giving and thoughtfulness can be pushed aside in the pre-Christmas sales and Christmas Eve rush.  Shortening the Christmas list and spending less money on gifts which are personal and unique can simplify this daunting task.  Other ideas might include:     

 

Decorations1

Checking out all the Christmas lights at this time of year is thoroughly enjoyable but not necessarily good for the environment.  It is worthwhile considering the use of LED lights and even solar powered lights, both of which can be found in stores.  It could also be fun to make your own Christmas tree and table decorations.  Try painting or spray-painting dried branches, pinecones and honky nuts for something different.

 

Food and Drink1

Festive food often evokes images of lavish tables overflowing with roast meats, seafood, salads, condiments and a grand turkey with a delicious stuffing.  Thinking about where food has been sourced from and how much ends up going to landfill can make a huge difference to your Christmas environmental footprint.

By making a conscious choice while shopping and preparing for Christmas it is possible to have a more sustainable festive season and remove some of the pressure on the environment during this time of year.

Merry Christmas from Integrate Sustainability!

You can download and print this list here.

 

1Information in this blog post was sourced form the following websites.  For more information, please see these references.

 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-19/christmas-waste-what-to-do-with-it/5974026, https://www.australianethical.com.au/news/10-tips-more-environmentally-friendly-christmas/, https://www.foe.co.uk/living/articles/25-eco-friendly-christmas-tips, http://eartheasy.com/give_sustainchristmas.htm, http://yourenergysavings.gov.au/guides/christmas?page=0