10 Secret Santa Tips

Christmas is one of our favourite times of the year, and it can be one of the most wasteful. In consultation with Mr & Mrs Claus, we've pulled together our top ten tips for a sustainable Christmas.

Santa's Secrets

solar garden fairy lights

Lighten your carbon footprint

Eco-light bulbs one use a fifth of the power of a regular light bulb while producing the same amount of light and lasting longer.  This Christmas opt for energy saving light bulbs and look out for solar powered outdoor fairy lights to add sparkle to your Christmas without adding to your carbon footprint.

Can I recycle my light bulb?

Stack of Christmas cards

Eco-Friendly Christmas cards

Christmas cards can be expensive and often get recycled within hours of being read.  An eco-friendly alternative to buying Christmas cards is to make your own by reusing old cards or better yet send an e-card, text message or go old school and phone your friends and family.  If you're still not convinced and would like to buy your cards, make it a little more eco-friendly by buying cards that have been made with recycled paper.

What can I do with my old christmas cards? 

 

Rolls of Christmas paper

Wrapping Paper

A great way to wrap your presents this Christmas is to wrap them with fabric.  You can buy cheap fabric at your local haberdashery and afterwards the fabric can be used for wrapping other presents or art and craft activities. 

Another option is to reuse old wrapping paper, or kids artwork and use string or ribbon instead of tape to tie your parcel together.

What else can I do with my gift wrap?  

Christmas decorations

Deck the halls naturally

Instead of spending money on artificial Christmas decorations that won't biodegrade, decorate your home with nature!  You will be amazed at what awesome decorations your can make out of organic, recycled and scrap materials such as ribbons, fabric, pinecones, cinnamon sticks, holly, ivy, branches/twigs and dried citrus.  (Old CD's make great candle holders). 

When its time to take the decorations down, the organics can be composted and the rest can be put away for next year.

Are CDs or DVDs recyclable?  

Christmas Tree

Tree-cycling

It is always nice to have a real tree at Christmas.  But what do you do with them when, come the end of January the glorious smell of pine has well and truly faded, and a carpet of needles consumes the floor?    You can drop it off at your local transfer station in the greenwaste area, where it will be composted.   

Where is my nearest transfer station?  

Rechargeable batteries in a charging unit

Be Battery Wise

Camping, new toys and Christmas lights can mean that families go through a lot of batteries over the holiday period.   Batteries can be a necessary evil containing toxic chemicals that can harm the environment is disposed of incorrectly.  The next time you need to buy batteries, opt for the rechargeable (if possible) or better yet go solar. 

What do I do with my old batteries?  

Christmas Presents

One persons unwanted gift is anothers treasure

Christmas is a time to give, so what better time to give away those gifts we wished we never got?  Online trading websites such as TradeMe or Freecycle are a great way to trade your gifts for some cash.  Alternatively you could give your gift to a charity or hold onto it and regift it next year.

WARNING - If you are regifting remember to replace the name tag.

Give the Gift of Charity

Give to a Charity

Stuck for original gift ideas? Google "Christmas Charity Gifts" and it will come up with lots of online charity organisations that provide the opportunity to give a gift that is not only thoughtful, but will make a difference to people and the environment too.

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

We are all familiar with that "post feast" feeling that hits after Christmas dinner. Often our eyes are bigger than our stomachs which results in a lot of food waste. Instead of throwing away your leftovers, freeze them. You can also compost your scraps and vegetable peelings during preparation.

Top Tip: Defrost your freezer before Christmas. This will create more room in your freezer for leftovers.

How do I reduce food waste? 

Recycle

Buy gifts that can be recycled

If you are contemplating what gift to get someone, look for a gift that is / or can be recycled (make sure the packaging is recyclable too).

What can I recycle in my yellow recycle bin?