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18 December 2014

Top tips for a sustainable Christmas

Indulgence and excess are par for the course over Christmas – lots of presents, lots of food and lots of socialising! Balance out the festive fun by adopting a more sustainable approach to celebrating with these easy tips:

1. Go easy on the wrapping paper

Reduce excessive packaging by giving tickets to events, home-made vouchers (such as for an hour’s babysitting), or even make your own home-made jams/pickles/biscuits.

If you do want to buy gift wrap, consider gift bags as an alternative to paper so they can be re-used by someone else. You can also use fabric offcuts as unique Christmas wrapping.

2. Buy from a social enterprise – and give back twice

Lots of social enterprises sell products that make great gifts – and often a portion of the profits from your purchase go to a good cause.

Check out ThreadHarvestThe Social OutfitWords With Heart and One Night Stand Sleepwear for ideas.

3. Waste not, want not

Reduce food waste by resisting the temptation to over-cater at Christmas, and try and use food you have in the fridge before it goes out of date.

If you are stocking up your cupboard, there are some great social enterprise food suppliers out there such as the Bread & Butter Project and Food Connect.

If you have leftovers, take a leaf out of Oz Harvest’s cookbook and turn yesterday’s dinner into a brand new meal.

4. Re-gift unwanted presents

Ever received a present that’s not quite right?  Instead of hiding it in the back of the cupboard, consider re-gifting it down the line. Just because it isn’t perfect for you, doesn’t mean it won’t be the ideal gift for someone else you have in mind!

5. Build sustainable relationships

The longer days and warm, balmy nights provide us with a great opportunity to get out and about with friends and family. Grab your friends and head to the beach, take the family out for a bushwalk or get together in a local park for a picnic.

Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some people so take the time to reconnect with loved ones and maintain relationships. If you, or someone you know is going through a tough time check out Beyond Blue for support services.

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