Ah, Christmas.

It’s a time for spreading cheer, spending time with family, and, unfortunately, producing more waste than any other time of year.

Cut back on the waste this festive season to enjoy the Christmas cheer without compromising Mother Nature. Because seriously, what did she ever do to you?

 

Use Solar-Powered Christmas Lights

Stranger things Christmas lights

Transform your home into a magical Christmas wonderland without chewing through electricity.

Solar-powered Christmas lights are the perfect way to light up your house and give that overachieving neighbour of yours a run for their money in the Christmas lights competition. The only difference is you’re not pumping out greenhouse gas emissions or being slapped with a big power bill. Take that, Carol!

 

Send E-Cards Instead of Christmas Cards

Patty, Selma and Marge

Traditional greeting cards are sooo 2007. It’s time to ditch the paper and join the 21st Century by opting for Christmas e-cards instead.

There are endless cute, heartfelt and hilarious designs to choose from. Better yet, send it to their work address to make their day; everyone loves a non-work-related surprise in their inbox!

 

Send an Email Instead of a Christmas Letter

Cat emailing

Again, paper is a big old waste of resources when you’ve got a computer and an email account at your disposal. Let’s be real: no one cares enough about your new cat and the hurdles you conquered in 2017 to actually keep your Christmas letter. It’s just going to end up in the trash, so it may as well be the trash folder on the internet instead.

Plus, GIFs.

 

 

Use Cloth or Newspaper Instead of Wrapping Paper

Seth Cohen wrapping presents

Sure, it’s pretty, but wrapping paper and cellophane are a real pain to the environment.

Wrap your gifts in old newspapers or cloth as an eco-friendly alternative. If that’s not pretty enough for you, dunk it in some glue and roll it around in some glitter* or something, idk.

*Glitter is just teeny, tiny, sparkly pieces of plastic that never, ever breaks down.

So maybe don’t do this.

 

Re-Gift Bad Presents

Britney Spears: "You shouldn't have"

That crappy unopened loofah your Aunt Margaret got you may actually come in handy this holiday period. And we’re not talking about reaching your back in the shower.

Re-gifting unwanted presents is a great alternative to throwing them away. It also saves you money. Just be sure not to give said loofah back to Aunt Margaret or you’ll be in strife.

 

Make a Donation to a Charity as a Gift

Donating to charity

You know what everyone loves? Pandas. And koalas. And other cute endangered animals that could really use our help.

Instead of just buying presents for the sake of it (they’ll probably end up in the deepest, darkest corners of the cupboard anyway) make a donation to a charity or adopt an animal through the WWF to ensure your money is going to a good cause.

 

Give Experiences Instead of Things

Taco Bell Mean Girls

Here’s a way to avoid buying dud gifts that end up in the trash, in the junk drawer, or being re-gifted back to you next year. Give your loved ones experiences instead of things.

This could be a nice brunch, a trip to the cinema, or a weekend at the beach. You don’t have to wrap it and you’ll make more memories than a half-price fidget spinner ever could.

 

Make Room for Leftovers

Joey Friends leftovers

Eat all the food in your freezer leading up to the big day so there’s plenty of room for those Christmas leftovers.

Whether you’re stocked up with frozen fish and chips, pizzas or steaks, be sure to plan your meals accordingly to ensure you’re not lacking space for Christmas leftovers and wasting any food.

 

Ditch Disposable Servingware

Christmas dinner

No one likes doing the dishes, but it’s better than giving a big middle finger to the environment by using plastic plates, cups and cutlery for your Christmas lunch.

Life’s too short to keep the good china at the back of the cupboard. Be kind to Mother Nature and whip out the crockery this year.

 

Recycle Your Natural Christmas Tree

Cat playing with Christmas tree

There’s no need to make a trip to the dump; chances are your area offers a Christmas tree collection service (like this one in Brisbane and this one in Sydney) to ensure your old Christmas tree is recycled and turned into mulch or something.

Otherwise you can check out the green waste collection dates in your area, or simply break your tree down into small pieces and pop it in the recycling bin.

 

Feeling really green this Christmas? Ditch the plastic baubles and recycle those cardboard boxes in the garage by making these awesome DIY Christmas decorations!

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