Tips for a Christmas with Less Waste
Christmas can get a little bit out of hand with the amount of waste that is created and whilst we love Christmas - the traditions, the joy and the overall excitement that comes with it. There is a downside to it which we all probably need to get a little more aware of, and that is the mass amount of waste that’s generated over this time of year.
To help combat this we have put together our practical, simple tips to help you have a Christmas with less waste. One where we actually take the time to choose more wisely, more consciously and therefore think about the effects on our wider environment.
Plan ahead around gifts with family.
It helps to set the expectation early and give ideas of different ways of gifting rather than just saying you don’t want certain things and therefore becoming a bit of a pain. If you proactively give other more useful ideas or create new ways of gifting - like adventures, food or money towards a fun trip, then people are more likely to be on board. This year with our brothers and sisters with kids we are going to make a wee healthy food treat for the kids to all open and eat together on the day and then we are going to plan a special outing for all of our children together for a day. Something we typically might not prioritise and make it a real treat fo the children so they can create amazing memories together and perhaps start a tradition of their own from.
Don’t go over the top especially with young kids. Kids can often get overwhelmed at Christmas time and sometimes if they are given so much they just just go from one gift to the next without even taking a minute to appreciate and play with the gift they just received. Less is more - choose sustainably made gifts or healthy little food treats they aren’t often allowed during the year and take the time between presents so that they learn to really appreciate the gift they have just received.
The 4 gift idea that we love is something they need, want, read and wear. This year we will get all of these things from local second hand shops or online second hand Facebook pages as you can always ask for something specific online too which another child may have outgrown.
Choose Sustainable Gift Wrap Choices
Most store bought gift wraps are NOT recyclable as they normally have a shiny laminated side, metallic decorative or foils added to them. Opt to choose wrapping paper which you know can 100% be recycled (please please double check this) or get creative with your gift wrapping this year and use reused fabric or something created by the kids which can be reused or recycled. Second hand stores normally have loads of off cuts of pretty fabrics which can be reused throughout the year or make a activity with children and get them to decorate brown recyclable paper with drawings and stamps.
Bulk Prepare and Store
If you are pretty committed to having a Christmas of minimal waste along with trying to keep it pretty healthy then plan ahead with treats and snacks you can pre-make and have on hand in your freezer or pantry. Zero waste healthy crackers are a great one to bulk batch make and store as they will last up to around 3 weeks in an airtight container. We have 2 recipes on the blog now which both are minimal fuss, gluten free and don't contain any nasty additives like store bought versions.
You can also pre-make healthy chocolate treats to have stored in your freezer. Our healthier chocolate bark is a great one to make in a big batch and then freeze for a healthier dessert or treat, as well as our Almond & Cacoa Chocolate or Peanut Butter Bliss Balls. All of these are quick and easy to prepare and store super well in your freezer in a reused jar or container.
Plan ahead with Food
If you have a big family feast on Christmas Day take the time to quickly plan who is bringing what you so you don’t end up adding to the estimated $872 million dollars worth of food waste that ends up in our landfills in NZ each and every year.
This time of year is super special just in the fact you take the time to appreciate and chill with family and friends - which we think Christmas is all about. Try to make as many good or better decisions as you can leading up to Christmas and then once the day arrives you will be able to just relax knowing your hard work has paid off.