By Brian Haupt, Inner Health advocate
Christmas, It’s almost that time of the year again, the most celebrated holiday in the calendar year. Along with it comes excitement and joy that pretty much takes off from the first “ember” month to the 25th December. The festivity is vastly celebrated across the world and, unfortunately, as with all large celebrations comes a heavy repercussion to our ecosystem.
With the traditional positive activities associated with Christmas, there are negative side effects leaving their mark on our environment. For example the traditional act of gift giving. Australians spend over 16.2 billion dollars on Christmas celebrations with more than 65% of that amount spent on gifts. One negative result of this is paper gift wrappers/gift bags, paper decorations, Christmas cards, Christmas trees and electronic gadgets.
Let’s try and make a shift! New eco-friendly ideas are plentiful and, investments have been made into recycling in Australia. Here are 5 tips on how to have a healthy and eco-friendly Christmas;
1. Try Eco-packaging
Why not pop your presents in reusable gift boxes or only use recycled paper, reusable plastic boxes or packaging made from recycled materials. Or, use a gift to wrap your gift! Tea towels are great for this. This goes a long way to reduce our annual deforestation. Using durable items also means you can re-use them for years to come.
2. Go Green for the Tree
Christmas trees sold in Australia are usually plantation sources and subjected to sustainable forestry systems. As they reach maturity they help act as a filter to clean the air before being cut down for the festive season. Recycling your Christmas tree into green waste means you’re keeping it out of landfill. This small step will help reduce the production of greenhouse gases, which contributes to climate change.
3. Go digital & send e-cards
E-cards are growing popular in today’s digital era and that can serve as a great alternative to paper greeting/Christmas cards. If you love the paper version and spreading festive cheer by post, consider giving charity cards. Always look for cards made on recycled paper.
4. Make it tasty
A yummy treat is a wonderful gift option. Consider sourcing locally made organic produce. Or, go home-made! Edible gifts, like cookies made into little houses, chocolate bouquets, allow you to be creative and invest your time into your gift-giving.
5. Recycle your giving
Some people will get lucky and get the latest new toy or gadgets this year but there are many who are not as fortunate. So, when you have your annual post-Christmas declutter, instead of throwing the old stuff out, why not give it out to charity or a close friend who you know is going to love it, reducing wastes and spreading the joy.