How to reduce waste this Christmas

It can be a difficult time of year to reduce your waste with all the feasting and gift-giving at Christmas, so the Zero Waste Victoria team have assembled some of their favourite tips on how to reduce waste this Christmas:


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How to reduce waste this Christmas

Gifts and Celebration

• Go second hand – there are plenty of good quality items you can buy second hand like books, kids toys, games, cookbooks and ceramics.

• Not sure what to get your workplace secret Santa? Gift them a zero-waste item (think bamboo lunch kit or produce bags from your local health food store) to help them kick start their zero waste journey. Better yet, encourage your workplace to request staff to opt for low waste gifts and gift wrapping!

• Buy an experience – it’s been said before but it’s a great way to avoid more unnecessary ‘things’ and give your loved ones something to look forward to.

• Make something – whether that be soap, sweets or something upcycled.

• Gift a repair or errand or chores voucher – offer to repair something or do the gardening for a friend or family member.

• Donate on behalf of a family member to a cause you think they’d like to support but may be financially unable to.

How to reduce waste this Christmas

Decorating and Gift Wrapping

• Save the gift wrapping from the previous year or save paper like your ‘who gives a crap’ toilet paper wrapping and re-use.

• Go outdoors for gift wrapping styling – certain varieties last a long time with no water and would make any reused paper look creative. The same can be said for table decorations, the beautiful colours of Australian natives can really complement the Christmas ‘theme’.

• Wrap your gift in a tea towel, handkerchief or other material – try Furoshiki (Japanese fabric wrapping) for many different styles. Again, try op shops for materials to decorate your table setting or Christmas tree.

• Invest in an indoor plant or native tree that can last for many year’s to come as a Christmas tree too.

• Make a decoration out of popcorn and paper chains from recycled magazines.

• Use re-usable wrapping like gift bags that the next person can use the following year.

• Try no wrapping at all! Does your gift need to be wrapped up if the receiver will open it within seconds?


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How to reduce waste this Christmas

Food and Waste Avoidance

• Make food with a longer shelf life – leafy salads generally only survive a couple of days so why not try a vegetable or more hearty salad that can be part of leftover meals for days.

• Make sure your bins are clearly marked – the reality is we will end up with waste so make sure your guests know where to discard recycling, composting or even reusing (gift wrapping, boxes, anything that looks like it could have a second life but you’re just not sure what for yet).

• If you are having guests over make sure to ask them to bring their own containers to take food home or if they are bringing food to bring it in a container to be re-used.

• There are some great places to hire gear to bake your festive cake-like Carlton Kitchen Library or party catering needs like kids party kits, bbq sets, dinner party kits, coffee cup sets, even trestle tables and chairs from Bayside Party Share, so choose to reuse this season.

How to reduce waste this Christmas

Refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and repair – is a good mantra to help you along your zero-waste journey.
Merry Christmas Zero Waste Victoria


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