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It’s the most wonderful time of the year… unless you’re trying to be environmentally friendly and buy gifts; then it can be a bit overwhelming. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle your holiday waste without sacrificing any fun this season. Here are our tips for being an eco-conscious consumer this year:
Use Up All Those Leftovers
If your family is anything like mine, there is always an overabundance of food, but we’ve become masters at using up leftovers for days following and don’t chuck out a single thing. There are loads of recipes online to reuse everything from Christmas ham to veggies and desserts.
Not only will you feel better about not wasting food, but you’ll also get to feast like a royalty for days to come. There are plenty of delicious dishes you can make with Christmas leftovers, here are some ideas.
Use Reusable Items Wherever You Can
I know the last thing you want to be doing after indulging in a Christmas feast are the dishes, but using reusable items like plates, cutlery and napery all help reduce your waste at Christmas. Plus you can’t deny they look a whole lot better than plastic, right?
In our family, we like to split the dishwashing between lunch and dinner so those who take on the lunch shift, can put their feet up after dinner.
Save Wrapping Paper, Bows and Ribbons to Reuse Next Year
Saving wrapping paper, bows and ribbons is a great way to reduce waste and recycle. A handy hint I like to use is collecting all the ribbons and bows after the present exchange and popping them into a gift bag. Then, throughout the year, I pop into the bag whenever I need to wrap a gift and grab a piece of ribbon.
If you’re looking for a way to recycle your old Christmas cards, consider making gift tags out of them for next Christmas. It’s easy to do, and it makes your gifts look extra special
Donate to Charity As a Gift Instead
Put down the novelty keyring or cheap bottle of perfume! Instead of forking out money on unnecessary stocking fillers, consider helping someone in need by donating to a cause you resonate with. Think charity shops, homeless shelters, animal shelters and food banks. It is also a great way to reduce waste as you’re not buying something for the sake of it, plus you’ll be making a huge difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
Ditch Ready-Made and Make Your Own Food
Whether it be shortbread biscuits or spice-infused chilli oil, homemade food is a great gift idea. Sure, it can be a little more time-consuming than ducking into a department store and grabbing an already-made product, but a bit of DIY will cut down on packaging and give you an opportunity to make something a little extra special this Christmas. Make sure you plan accordingly though, you want to make sure you’re only buying what you need to make everything.
I know that Christmas is an exciting time of year and that you want to share the holiday spirit with your family, friends and neighbours. But I also want to make sure that everyone can enjoy their gifts without feeling guilty about the impact on our planet’s health. By using these tips, you’ll be able to have a more eco-friendly holiday season without sacrificing fun.
Any representations, views or opinions contained in this article are those of The Latch and do not reflect those of and are not endorsed by Suncorp Bank.