How to have a zero waste Christmas (yes, it’s possible)

Unwanted gifts, uneaten food, non-recyclable wrapping paper. With an increasingly fragile environment, it’s time we rethink how and what we use over Christmas time. 

Retail, especially in the gifting season of Christmas, creates an enormous amount of waste each year.

In addition to spending $400 million on ‘unwanted’ gifts that likely end up in landfill during this time, Aussies use more than 150,000km of wrapping paper and discard over 5 million tonnes of food.

But we’re also increasingly conscious of our impact on the environment, with 79 percent of us believing retailers should embrace sustainable practices.

If you’re wanting to enjoy Christmas celebrations with as little waste as possible, here are some tips courtesy of CouriersPlease.

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Buy better

Rather than picking gifts that are trendy or gimmicky, opt for presents that are timeless and designed to last. Better yet, why not buy experiences as gifts, i.e. a restaurant voucher, or beauty treatment?

Pick clothes and accessories made of natural fibres

Try to avoid fibres that aren’t biodegradable, like nylon and polyester, as these garments won’t break down if they end up in landfill.

“Instead, try to invest in high-quality linen, bamboo, organic cotton and sustainable fabrics that have less impact on the environment,” Paul Roper, Chief Commercial Officer at CouriersPlease, says.

By fresh, unpackaged produce

So many vegetables in the supermarket come in unnecessary plastic wrap or packaging, like salad bags and pre-cut fruit. Instead, opt for the ‘free range’ fruit veg you select yourself. Better yet, visit a market to support local growers.

Shop second-hand

“In Australia, an estimated six tonnes of clothes end up in landfill every 10 minutes – this equates to 846 tonnes every day,” says Roper.

Instead, visit your local opp shop or consignment store for more responsible fashion choices.

Choose eco-friendly wrapping paper and decorations

Forget disposable decorations made out of plastic and ornate wrapping paper with glitter.

Put your Chrissie waste in the right place

Recycle and compost where you can, and put landfill in the appropriate bin.