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 holidays and the traditions that make this time of year so special.
However, there’s no denying that the holidays generate excess waste, as much as 30% more during the festive season.
It’s important to do our bit and think about ways we can free ourselves from festive waste and make a positive difference.
Why is festive waste an issue?
Waste in general is an issue in Australia.
We don't have unlimited resources or unlimited space to store the waste we generate.
The good news? These figures demonstrate how little things can make a difference.
If every household this holiday season is a little more mindful and less wasteful we will see a real reduction in festive waste.
From food, gifts and all the trimmings, follow our waste-reducing solutions this holiday season.
10 ways to reduce your festive waste this holiday season
1. Plan your festive feast properly
Before you even think about hitting the shops confirm who is coming to dinner on the big day and what you will be cooking.
Both 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 checking your pantry and fridge, buying only what you need and making sure you shop with a list in hand.
Without a list, it is too easy to forget items, buy in excess and get off-track when you enter the shop.
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 as it hasn’t been travelling long-distances, it hasn't been refrigerated and is less likely to be wrapped in plastic.
3. Remember your reusable bags
Remember your reusable shopping bags when you hit the shops.
Most reusable bags are made to last, making them more effective to carry your shopping.
Simply leave them in your car you will never be without them.
Reusable Laundry bags are a great alternative to plastic fruit and veggie bags.
4. Store your fresh produce effectively
Australians throw out 3.3 million tonnes of food every year.
A lot of food becomes waste because it's not properly planned for or stored correctly.
Make sure your fridge is clean and organised before you do your festive shopping. Keep herbs and vegetables fresh by storing them in the vegetable drawer.
A top tip for keeping herbs fresh for longer is to wrap them in a damp T-Towel in the vegetable drawer.
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.
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.
A survey showed that Australian receive approximately 20 million unwanted gifts.
If you’re unsure what to buy someone, think useful, choose sustainable or buy a voucher or experience instead.
7. Get creative with wrapping
Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable and during the festive season, Australians will use enough wrapping paper to wrap around the Earth's equator 4 times.
Get creative with your wrapping, reuse old magazines, fabric off-cuts or T-Towels.
Check out ENJO's Wrapped with Purpose Kit. Three sustainable solutions for a waste-free wrap.
A super-absorbent Bamboo T-Towel makes the reusable wrap. Biodegradable twine acts as a reusable ribbon for securing a plantable gift tag infused with swan river daisies seeds.
Free with any Bundle purchase until the 19 December.
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 general waste system organised and ready to go.
Try and avoid waste where you can, clean and reuse glass jars for storage in your pantry.
9. Look after your festive 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.
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.
Get in touch to learn more.
Editor's note: this post was updated 1 November 2019