Choosing a Low Waste Christmas

Enjoy the festive season while honouring your low-waste commitment. 

This time of the year is filled with family, friends, food and good times. It is easy to get wrapped up in the celebrations and forget about your commitments to living a low-waste lifestyle. Here are a few sustainable tips to support your dedication, while still having a festive holiday. 

Low Waste Gift Giving  
  1. Gift consumables and experiences. Spoil your friends or family with tasty, premium food products they may not be able to buy themselves. Check out this  amazing range of award-winning, NZ made products to choose from or  you can make your own. Alternatively, gifting someone an experience supports local business and requires no packaging, a win-win! 
  2. Giving home-made gifts. Use your unique skill set to create your own meaningful gifts.  Whether it be ceramics, baking, art, photography, essential oils, body care or woodwork, it will be unique and special. 
  3. Living Gifts. Perennials (such as Agapanthus, Dahlias or herbs) are a lovely gift that will return year after year. A blossoming Christmas lily provides beauty each year and a fruit tree becomes a yearly harvest.  
  4. Sustainable swaps. Gift a zero waste product to replace everyday items, such as: beeswax wraps, mesh produce bags, a stainless steel water bottle or a reusable coffee mug. Simple swaps are a supportive way to introduce new ideas to friends and family who may not be as aware. 

Low Waste Gift Wrapping  

  1. Wrapping paper alternatives.  Using a reusable piece of fabric to wrap a present is not a new idea, but a good one! Learn more about Furoshiki, the Japanese method of fabric wrapping. Another option is to gift a locally made ceramic plate, filled with Christmas goodies. Or fill a glass jar with homemade hot chocolate mix
  2. Reuse & reuse again.  Choose wrapping that can be reused multiple times. For example, a decorative tin, gift bag or cute box. Save and reuse ribbons and wrapping paper or use a brown paper bag as wrapping and get the kids to decorate it.
  3. Be Prepared. In the excitement of gift opening, it’s easy to forget to recycle or save materials. Be prepared with 2 bags: one to store reusable bags, boxes, ribbons and bows, and the other to collect paper that is recyclable. 

Low Waste Menu and Celebrations  
  1. Home Cooking. Reduce food packaging by cooking from scratch. However, be kind to yourself by not over committing yourself in the kitchen.  Find a delicious variety of wholesome Christmas recipes here
  2. Reusable containers. If your Christmas menu is extensive, be prepared to store it properly and feast all week long. Avoid plastic wrap by using your own containers. Ask family members to bring a container for left overs.  No one will complain about taking something delicious home!
  3. Love your leftovers. Have a plan so that nothing goes to waste. Making bone broth, ham salad or frittata is a great way to use up Christmas leftovers. Freeze anything you won’t be able to eat straight away.
  4. SUSTAINALE DECORATIONS. Make your own festive decorations with seasonal flowers, tree branches, pinecones or driftwood. Shop at your local resale shop for second hand decorations. 
  5. MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK. Avoid disposable plates, cups and cutlery as they generate unnecessary waste. Get the crew to help with washing up. 

Now is a great time to start new, low waste family traditions. Go easy on yourself and make small amends to start with. You don’t have to do the above all at once.  If you’re looking for sustainable gift ideas, check out our blog Homemade, Eco-friendly, and Edible Gift Giving.

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