Green Christmas – How to Have an Eco-Friendly Festive Season and New Year


The festive season is about relaxation, enjoyment and celebration. It’s for time off work and loved ones to connect and create memories. But it’s not all presents and pavlovas. For many, it’s a source of stress and financial anxiety. Over-the-top consumerism, busy workloads, high expectations and too much waste can suck all the joy out.

Say hello to a green Christmas. 

A green Christmas reduces the chaos and protects your sanity, wallet and the environment. 

Each year, Australians waste $400 million worth of Christmas presents. This equates to 10 million unwanted items that end up in landfill, ultimately harming our health and the planet. 

So why not simplify things?

Simple gifts, simple decorations, simple events and simple traditions. 

Here’s how to have an eco-friendly, green Christmas:


Reduce Paper, Plastic and Food Waste

Buy less, choose well, do good. It’s a motto we all should live by to limit waste. 

The festive season is notorious for over-indulging. Gifts look pretty under the tree, then pile up in landfills. Food gets thrown away and wrapped presents become a mountain of plastic and polystyrene waste.

Instead, have a food plan to avoid food waste, compost scraps and choose products with reusable or recyclable packaging. Get a gift you don’t want? Donate unwanted items or set aside to re-gift for someone who’ll appreciate it. Have excessive leftovers? Ask guests to leave with takeaways. 

LOW-WASTE WRAPPING OPTIONS:

Swap wrapping paper with these low-waste alternatives:

  1. Reusable gift tags
  2. Natural elements
  3. Vegan wax wraps (made from organic cotton and non-GMO soy wax)
  4. Fabric wraps, ribbons and bows
  5. Reuse 
  6. Repurpose

low-waste-wrapping

Buy Gifts that Last

Presents that don’t end up in landfill are much more meaningful. Think sentimental, sustainable and reusable gifts.

  1. Choose quality over quantity 
  2. Buy clutter-free gifts
  3. Find experiences and services vs goods eg: a day spa voucher or concert tickets 
  4. Give the gift of time eg: a gift certificate for a day out at their favourite place 
  5. Get creative with DIY or homemade goodies, not all gifts have to be store-bought
  6. Pick gifts that give back eg: donate the annual gift budget to charity 
  7. Look for locally made gifts
  8. Choose gifts made from recycled resources
  9. Buy smart, think green
  10. Embrace conscious shopping

PRESENT INSPIRATION:


Sustainable Cards

E-cards are a sustainable way to reduce waste and save trees. If you’re after something tangible, choose charity cards, cards made on recycled paper or make your own.  

These hand-foiled Christmas cards are made by Perth designer Works with Quirks. I couldn’t go past them for my clients – simple, sustainable and supporting local businesses.


greeting-cards-WWQ
cards-by-WWQ

Support Green Businesses

Green businesses have their hearts in the right place and the actions to prove it. 

The more support you give them, the higher encouragement for an eco-friendly impact and environmental and social benefits. 

For a business to be green, it must encapsulate the four principles of sustainability; human, social, economic and environmental. Executed with measurable outcomes, actions and results. 

As a business owner, I’m forever conscious of strengthening greener values. Sustainable practices are important. Not only for the festive season, but all year round to benefit my clients and take part in reducing the carbon footprint. Every business can do its share. 

Eco-friendly actions I practice at the little typewriter:

  • Use repurposed items (my brand and logo were designed around an unusable typewriter)
  • Advocate green Australian businesses
  • Reduce waste by reusing 
  • Use refurbished computer parts where possible for my home office setup 
  • Paperless office with digital forms and contracts and apps like Google Drive for coordinating projects
  • Choose sustainable packaging when ordering supplies online 
  • Conserve energy by switching off electronics away from work hours and alternating writing days outside to use natural lighting
  • Bring plants indoors to improve air quality and increase productivity

Whether it’s buying a product or a service, find ways to support businesses who support the planet this Christmas. 


Choose a Live Tree

Artificial trees may be reused for years but eventually, they end up in landfill. This year think eco-friendly. 

In Australia, real Christmas trees are plantation-grown under sustainable forestry systems. Look for seasonal and organic tree farms to buy from. 

REAL TREE BENEFITS:

  1. Can be recycled into mulch or replanted in your backyard
  2. Trees are replaced by new seedlings
  3. Provides habitats for wildlife while growing
  4. More aesthetically-pleasing than artificial alternatives 
  5. Reduces greenhouse gases 
  6. 100% biodegradable 
  7. Re-pot for longer use; live potted trees can last 2-3 years without having to plant or re-pot
real-christmas-tree

Decorate your tree with sustainable decorations made from recycled wood, glass and fabric. Switch the Christmas lights to LED, which use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer. 


Shop Locally 

Help sustainable brands by shopping locally. When you buy gifts from across the globe, the impact of transportation contributes to global warming and greenhouse emissions.  

Instead, check the local markets for green Christmas gift ideas this year. 

REDUCE YOUR SHOPPING MILES BY:

  • Buying seasonal produce for food feasts – start with your local farmer’s market 
  • Rethinking online purchases – stick to Australian-owned, ethical businesses and choose sustainable packaging
  • Growing your own food 

Simplify Gift Giving

Giving generously shouldn’t be expected or stressful. 

Although most Christmas traditions involve gift-giving and receiving, many opt out of buying stuff and create alternatives or new traditions instead. 

Simplify the process by breaking traditions. Shorten the gift list or switch to a Secret Santa exchange. Over budgeting can take the fun out of giving presents. Set realistic limits and stick to them.  

SIMPLE GIFT-GIVING TIPS:

  • Buy presents for the kids only
  • Consider a family gift rather than gifts for every individual 
  • Spend less money on things and more time with each other 

Focus on What’s Important 

Focus on the simple things to keep stress levels low. 

Think back to what made Christmas special when you were young. What traditions do you want to keep or pass onto your family?

Overcommitting doesn’t leave time for what’s important. Before your calendar fills up, determine what’s important to you. What makes Christmas magical and memorable? For me, it’s the simple things. Good people, good food, sunshine, Christmas lights and recoup time. Oh, and don’t forget the Sangria!

Maybe it’s driving around to look at Christmas lights, baking cookies, decorating (and eating) the gingerbread house or watching festive movies. Pinterest-perfect decorations don’t make Christmas magical. But decorating the perfectly imperfect tree and spending time with loved ones does. With or without presents. 


What Makes a Product Sustainable?

Before you can make greener choices, it’s crucial to understand what makes a product sustainable.

MATERIAL 

Eco-friendly, premium materials to ensure the quality remains through repeat uses. Sustainable products have no hazardous materials or ingredients and don’t deplete natural resources. 

LIFE CYCLE

Minimum to no waste, social and environmental benefits, useful and durable. For example; reusables, stainless steel and bamboo. 

PRODUCTION

Low-impact, ethical labour aligned with eco-friendly values. 

DISPOSAL 

Check the label – can they be repurposed, reused, composted or recycled after use?


star-lights

A green Christmas spreads genuine happiness. It’s about making different choices, buying things that are kinder to the planet and bringing people closer together through time, not things.  

the little typewriter’s hours have changed over Christmas and New Years. Want to get in touch? I’m now taking bookings for late January. Book in a copywriting project below. 


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