5 Top Tips for a Low-Waste Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time to create memories and share gifts with family and friends.

While gift giving and family get-togethers are on the top of everyone’s to-do list, it’s important to keep your effect on the environment in mind when preparing for the Christmas holiday season. Australians collectively spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Christmas gifts, with West Australians likely to be some of the biggest spenders. With so much happening over the holiday season, we can often get carried away and purchase much more than we need, generating excess waste.

Here are 5 useful tips to help you have a low-waste Christmas:

Pre-Christmas Clean Up

If your house is a little tight on space, now may be an opportune time to clear out your home to make space for visiting relatives and friends, before you start putting up the Christmas decorations. With the influx of presents sure to be sitting under your Christmas tree, you’ll need the extra space!

If you’ve been building up unused belongings over the years, consider hiring a skip bin to dispose of these items in a quick and easy manner. Instant Waste Management are Perth’s experts in waste disposal and will deliver the skip bin to your home at a time convenient to you and then dispose of your waste within minimum impact to the environment, recycling as much of your waste as possible.

Recycling Old Presents

Do you have any old gifts which have not been used or are no longer required?

Before throwing them away, consider the positive impact you could have by regifting the items. Many families go without over Christmas, so get into the spirit of Christmas and give. Giving is one of the best ways of contributing to the lives of others over the holiday season. Get in touch with some local charities to find out how you can get involved.

Another great idea is to hold a garage sale leading up to Christmas and promote it on social media and in your local newspaper. Your old or unused items could make great Christmas presents for others, rather than ending up in landfill. The money you make from the garage sale can go towards buying gifts for the family. If you’ve already purchased your Christmas gifts, consider donating the money to local charities so they can fill the stockings of those less fortunate.

Wrapping Presents

Generic wrapping paper is not usually recyclable due to its coating. Have a look at some alternative ways to wrap gifts this Christmas. Consider wrapping presents with reusable fabric, or even old newspapers and magazines. If you receive gifts enclosed in wrapping paper, unwrap the gift carefully, so that you can reuse the wrapping paper in the future.

Alternatively, you can place gifts in re-usable Christmas stockings, rather than wrap them individually. Another way to reduce the amount of gift-wrap waste is to give experiences as opposed to physical presents. There are numerous services and companies that enable you to purchase gift-cards or vouchers online for experiences which can then be emailed directly to the gift receiver. Experiences are usually more memorable than physical gifts, so give it a go this Christmas and purchase the dream experience your special someone has always wanted.

Setting the Christmas Table

Although disposable plates, cutlery and serving utensils are quick and easy to use and dispose of, especially with extended family and friends coming to visit, they generate unnecessary waste and have a substantially negative effect on the environment.

Look to use ceramic plates and metal cutlery, as well as glasses or reusable plastic cups for drinks. Linen or cotton napkins and tablecloths are also an ideal way to reduce the waste generated by your Christmas meal. As for Christmas crackers, make your own or look for crackers that are made using recycled paper and products. Creating your own crackers also provide a fun family activity for the school holidays.

The Christmas Feast

There’s no doubting that we can all go a bit overboard when it comes to organising the Christmas feast.

When planning your cook-up, write up a meal plan to ensure you only buy the food that is necessary. Work out how many people will be attending your Christmas breakfast, lunch or dinner and look for meal ideas to suit that many people without getting carried away. After everyone has finished, add the leftovers to reusable containers and store them in the fridge. If there is still food left over after a couple of days, freeze the excess for future meals.

Want to see how Instant Waste Management handles your waste? Watch this detailed behind the scenes video. For more information on how to have a low-waste Christmas or to book a skip bin for your pre-Christmas clear out, contact Instant Waste Management’s friendly staff on 08 9379 2111.