'Tis The Season To Think Green

Christmas is just around the corner, a time when we overeat, overspend, and produce more waste than any other time of the year. But the good news is that you can still live a little this festive season without having a big ecological impact.

'Tis the season to think green and by green we don't just mean sparkly ball balls and Christmas trees. But rather using more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.

Here are a few ideas of easy changes you can make this Christmas that will make a big positive impact:

 

GIFT WRAPPING

Wrapping, ribbons, plastic trees and decorations are in abundance in the lead-up to Christmas, but often end up in landfill once the fun is over. You can use old newspapers and magazines, or last year's wrapping paper perhaps, even old linen. Gift bags can be reused time and time again. However, if people are receiving gifts that have paper wrapping, then just remember you can either reuse it next year or make sure you recycle it in your kerbside recycle bin. Wrapping paper can be recycled, but plastic cellophane or metallic wrapping has to go to landfill, as does tinsel. Tinsel is plastic, so avoid it if possible, otherwise make sure it's being used year after year.

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DECORATIONS

While plastic Christmas trees are not the greenest option, they could be justified if used over a long period of time. That way you're getting the most value out of the resources that have gone into making it. Cut trees are great as long as they're from sustainably sourced plantations, but probably the best option you could go for, if available, is one of the trees that you can actually grow in a pot and you can use it time and time again. There are plenty of beautiful wooden Christmas decorations to put on your tree or around your house!  When it came to Christmas lights,  it's recommended LED or solar powered to reduce power output. In terms of energy consumption it's better if they're not flashing. Flashing lights use more energy.

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HOW TO PROPERLY RECYCLE 101

If waste is unavoidable, we recommend brushing up on what can and cannot be recycled.
Some of the common mistakes are putting soft plastics in your kerbside bin, as well as putting recyclables — so paper, cans, cartons — in a plastic bag and then putting that in the recycling bin. That actually won't get recycled and it causes issues at the recycling facility. So it's best to put those things in loose.

Items that can be recycled:

  • Paper: office paper, magazines, newspapers and junk mail
  • Cardboard
  • Green, clear and brown glass bottles and jars
  • Juice and milk cartons
  • All plastic bottles and containers marked, but no lids please
  • Steel (tin) and aluminium cans and empty aerosols

Items that cannot be recycled:

  • Plastic bags or recyclables inside plastic bags
  • Takeaway coffee cups
  • Disposable nappies
  • Garden waste
  • Polystyrene (foam)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Syringes or medical waste
  • Dead animals
  • Oils
  • Ceramics, ovenware or light bulbs

Compostable Items:

  • Vegetables
  • Some Paper
  • Fruit Rinds
  • Grains
  • Coffee Filters/Tea Bags/Looseleaf Tea

In other words, MANY items can be thrown into the compost bin. For the most part, almost any food (except cooked, meat, and dairy) is compostable.

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It really doesn't take much effort to make a few small mindful changes not only in the festive season but ongoing for life.

Every little bit counts!

 

Sources:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-14/how-to-celebrate-a-sustainable-christmas/10617782
http://www.netwaste.org.au/recycle-it/what-can-be-recycled/
https://www.chegg.com/play/student-life/compost-recycling-or-trash-do-you-know-what-goes-where/