10 ways to minimise waste this festive season

Keep your home in check and help protect the planet this festive season with our top tips to reduce festive waste

Keep your home in check and help protect the planet this festive season with our top tips to reduce festive waste

We all love the festive seasons and the traditions that make this time of year so special, but there’s no denying that all festive celebrations tend to generate excess waste, so it’s important to do our it and think about ways we can minimise the holiday’s impact.

Why is festive waste an issue?

Waste, in general, is an issue, with Australian’s now producing 50 million tonnes of waste each year1, and the season for generosity sees Australian’s 30% more waste2.

Avoid the waste and the clean-up by embracing a minimalist approach to Christmas - think Scandinavian style and sustainable solutions. From food, gifts, and all the trimmings, follow our waste-reducing solutions.

10 ways to reduce your festive waste

 

1. Plan your festive feast properly

Before you even think about hitting the shops you need to confirm who is coming and what you’re cooking. Both tend to influence each other, so plan your menu and the ingredient quantities you will need to ensure you have enough, but not so much that you’re swimming in waste. Choose dishes that incorporate seasonal produce so that it tastes delicious, and the ingredients are available locally.

2. Shop smart

Shopping smart means shopping with a list in hand. It is far too easy to go ‘off-piste’ when shopping and even more so during the festive season. Shopping smart to avoid waste also means thinking about where you shop. Choosing fresh, local produce from smaller suppliers comes with lots of benefits; local food has a smaller carbon footprint, it’s usually fresher as it hasn’t been travelling long-distances to its destination, and because so little travel is required, it’s not wrapped-up or boxed in plastic – less waste all around.

3. Shop sustainably

The plastic bag ban hit Australia hard, but it’s so easy and more effective to carry your shopping in a bag that’s purpose-built to carry a heavy load, simply leave them in your car you will never be without them. Avoid using plastic fruit and veggie bags, either leave them loose or use something reusable like a laundry bag to keep them separated.

4. Store your fresh produce effectively

When it comes to waste, there’s nothing worse than limp produce sitting in the vegetable drawer. Keep herbs and vegetables fresh by making a t-towel damp and rolling up your fresh produce to store in the fridge. A tried and tested way to keep your products fresh for longer.

5. Clean-up with zero waste

Keeping your home clean and clear of clutter over the festive season is the dream, but you don’t want to be generating waste by throwing out sponges, cloths and paper towel. Choose zero waste cleaning supplies and keep your home clean (with zero waste) for three festive seasons

6. Choose useful gifts

When you know what someone wants or needs gift-giving is a piece of cake, but when you’re not sure, gifts can be wasteful. If you’re unsure what to buy someone, think useful, choose sustainable products or buy a voucher or experience instead. 

7. Get creative with wrapping

Unfortunately, most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable, but there is the option to purchase wrapping paper made from recycled paper. Recyclable brown paper, brown boxes or even newspaper can look beautiful when adorned with festive trimmings and reusable ribbon. If you have fabric cuts off you could also try your hand at the Japanese cloth-wrapping technique Furoshiki.

8. Set up your waste stations

From packaging waste, food waste, gift wrapping and empty drink bottles, waste quickly builds up in your home. Have your recycling, upcycling, composting and waste system organised and ready to go and try and avoid waste where you can. Clean and reuse glass jars for storage in your pantry.

9. Look after your decorations

It can be very tempting to trade in your old festive decorations for something new and shiny, but looking after your festive decorations and keeping them year-on-year helps build memories and before you know it, they are vintage and beloved. If you are looking to throw out decorations that are in good condition, ask around at schools, retirement homes or local community centres who might appreciate the donation.

10. Be ready for leftovers

Everyone loves Boxing Day leftovers, so have your reusable containers or beeswax wraps ready to pack-up leftovers for friends and family or to store in your fridge. If you have an abundance of leftover vegetables, pickling is a great (and tasty) way to avoid them landing in the waste bin. 

References

1. https://blog.mraconsulting.com.au/2016/04/20/state-of-waste-2016-current-and-future-australian-trends/
2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2015/12/23/keep-australia-beautiful-during-the-festive-season/

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