Sustainable Festive Season Ideas

With the festive season fast approaching it is time to start thinking about how we can minimise our footprint by creating less waste and up-cycling or recycling more during the festive season.

To help navigate your way to enjoying a more sustainable festive season, we have created some simple ideas which can be easily implemented and shared with friends, family and work colleagues, to help you be part of the solution to create a sustainable future whilst reducing waste and its impact on the environment.

DECORATIONS

  • Choose or make your own sustainable decorations with recyclable paper and natural items such as evergreen stems, dried citrus, driftwood, shells, feathers and pinecones
  • Try to get a live Christmas tree with the root ball attached which is by far the most eco-friendly
  • When choosing flowers for gifts or for decorating select ‘in season’ locally grown varieties
  • Set your table with reusable plates and cutlery so they can be washed and used again
  • Sustainable Bon Bons – make your own using some recycled paper, pop a toilet roll inside and tie the ends with twine. Pop a foil wrapped chocolate inside as the gift
  • Make your own wreath that is fully compostable using 100% natural twine to secure your foliage, or use pinecones, dried oranges and cinnamon sticks

WORK FESTIVITIES

  • Request sustainable/reusable decorations for the office
  • Request sustainable plates and cutlery for office catering
  • Gift reusable coffee cups or water bottles to your team to minimise the amount of waste created by your team
  • Swap your annual end of year party for a Take 3 Beach Clean-up and celebrate the impact you can make in minimising litter from the environment
  • Give back this holiday season – Take a team pledge for the environment and sign up for workplace giving for 2023

FESTIVE FOOD

  • Support local and try to buy locally produced food and drink. Farmers markets are good place to start
  • Buy food nude (no plastic packaging)
  • Take your reusable bags to the store or market (say no to plastic bags)
  • Plan your meals to only buy what you need and reduce the amount of wastage
  • Choose organic produce and RSPCA approved meat products
  • Opt for organic or carbon neutral beers and wine

TURN YOUR TRASH INTO CASH

  • Festive season celebrations come with a lot of bottles, cans and containers that can end up in landfill and even the ocean. You can play a part in removing these items from the environment by recycling at your local TOMRA Return and Earn reverse vending machine, and turning your trash into cash! Through Return and Earn, you can return eligible beverage containers to a return point and earn a 10-cent refund per container.
  • This refund can be in the form of a voucher to redeem as cash or at a retail partner, or a digital refund, or you can donate your refund to Take 3 for the Sea.
  • This program is currently available in NSW, QLD, NT and WA.

SHOPPING AND GIFTS

  • Buy less, buy with thought – plan your purchases to ensure the least impact on the environment
  • Have your family and friends take a pledge this festive season to minimise their impact on the environment
  • Create a reverse advent calendar using a box for each day of December and add a non perishable item in the box that can be collected and given to a family in need
  • Make guidelines for the whole family to adhere to when buying gifts e.g. only second hand, handmade or perishable (e.g. chocolates, homemade biscuits)
  • Reusable coffee cups and water bottles are a great gift idea
  • Give experiences instead of things – just check to make sure the experience is sustainable
  • Think about handmade gifts and buy direct from individuals or small businesses on Etsy
  • Buy from sustainable stores like Flora & Fauna, Seed and Sprout
  • Plan a Secret Santa gift exchange, where each individual only buys one present instead of one present for each person
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  • Donate to charities in the name of the gift receiver! Donate a tree or to Take 3 for the Sea

FESTIVE WRAPPING

  • Don’t use plastic wrap or sticky tape
  • Use an alternative to traditional wrapping paper such as cloth, recycled or natural brown paper and string. You can also use cotton fabric, ribbon and safety pins (instead of single-use tape)
  • Use beautiful + plantable gift cards which you can pop into your garden and watch food/flowers grow!

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