"The festive season can generate spectacular amounts of waste, more so than any other time of year, with plastic packaging, boxes, wrapping, sticky tape, bottles and food waste piling up throughout the entire period. Being a busy time of year, we can find ourselves rushing around to meet multiple deadlines, attend events, shop for gifts and also catch a moment to enjoy ourselves. It is no wonder that we feel like we have to go bananas in shopping malls and overstock on absolutely every item possibly required before stores briefly close.
On top of making a pact with your loved ones surrounding gift buying, you could consider waste-reducing alternatives including:
Homemade gifts - cooked treats including slices, cookies and jams are always well received. You could even prepare some thoughtful, personally-blended essential oil sets, potted plants from cuttings or seeds, or if you’re extra crafty, knit, sew or build something special for your loved ones.
Buy pre-loved - pre-loved clothes and homewares can make fantastic gifts and the thrift store shopping experience is far less anxiety inducing than navigating packed out malls.
Making your home feel festive with decorations is one way we get into the feel and excitement of the season. Luckily, decorating and creating a holiday atmosphere doesn’t have to be wasteful.
Some great alternative decorating tips include:
Use homemade baubles - less likely to break down like plastic baubles, home-made decorations created from wood, pinecones or fabric are charming and long lasting.
Burn long lasting toxin-free candles - cinnamon and ginger scented candles not only emit a festive aroma but provide warm twinkly atmosphere that could even replace Christmas lights.
Orange with cloves – insert whole cloves into the skin of a whole orange to cover, with 1 cm gaps, for a fantastic smelling, bright decoration.
Create fabric bunting of silk and miscellaneous fabrics to replace tinsel and hang around the home.
Use solar Christmas lights - if you love the Christmas-light-adorned home during the festive season, opt for lights that can be charged with solar panels which are both environmentally conscious and cost effective.
The festive season is all about home cooked spreads of delicious dishes but haven’t we all experienced the weeks of leftovers, some of which must sadly be thrown out?
To reduce waste and get the most out of the festive meals:
Coordinate with family and friends to bring a plate and balance the spread with the right amount of sweet, savoury, salads, breads and proteins to avoid too much or too little of anything.
Encourage your friends and family to bring reusable containers for leftovers to avoid using plastic wrap and to make sure you aren’t left with more than you can eat.
Try to get a good idea of exactly who will be attending your festive functions to cater enough for different dietary requirements.
The best thing about a waste-free holiday and festive season is the creativity and thoughtfulness that goes into it, making for an enjoyable, calming and memorable time with the people you love the most."
All the best Jan