Christmas and the holiday season is all about getting friends and family together, eating (far too much), giving gifts, decorating the house, and celebrating. But with all that celebrating, comes hundreds of thousands of kilograms of waste each year.
There are heaps of ways to be a little more mindful over the holidays, and they don’t require drastic changes to your life. Here are 7 easy, peasy ways to make sure get some more REUSE into your Christmas.
Make a little pressie money beforehand
While the countdown is now officially on, there’s still plenty of time to dust off those unwanted gifts from last year, or what you didn’t sell on the Trail, and make some extra present money selling your pre-loved stuff online on sites like eBay.
As good friends of the Trail, eBay are offering you the opportunity to list and sell 5 items, fee free, until the end of December, making this the the perfect time to get selling and bringing in the bacon ready for Christmas. Redeem the offer
Revamp your gift giving
Going grey at the prospect of all that present buying ahead? Sweat no longer - homemade or even upcycled secondhand treasures make for sustainable, affordable and thoughtful gifts. Check out our top picks from Pinterest.
If upcycling or getting crafty isn’t your thing, here are some other simple ways to get sustainable this Christmas:
- Get a family Secret Santa going – buy just the one present instead of one for every family member or friend
- Buy secondhand gifts online or start rummaging through your local op shops. If buying online on sites like eBay look out for listings featuring “BNWT” (brand new with tags) for items in brand new condition
- Re-gift items - just make sure you don’t give it to the person who gave it to you!
- Give experiences over things
- Consider donations to charities on behalf of your family members or friends
Rethink your gift wrapping
Believe us, half the fun of the holidays is unwrapping presents. There’s something about tearing open the wrapping to see what’s under the beautifully wrapped gift, that can’t be beat.
But gift wrapping really isn’t too environmentally friendly… Here are some ideas to help rethink your gift wrapping and get creative by reusing materials you already have:
- Reuse gift bags from previous years
- Save up newspaper each week to wrap gifts
- Got an old frock in a beautiful pattern you no longer wear? Turn it into beautifully unique wrapping that can be reused again and again
- Use the small offcuts from old wrapping paper and Christmas cards to create present labels
Pre-loved decorations are so on trend
Pre-loved, vintage and secondhand are so hot right now so why buy new, when you can reuse last year’s tinsel, or buy secondhand decorations online?
Here are some great ways to give old Christmas decorations some love this year:
- Shop for pre-loved decorations on online marketplaces like eBay
- Upcycle your decorations with these nifty ideas and they’ll be as good as new
- Upgrade the chocolate advent calendar tradition with these DIY ideas
The sustainable Christmas tree
Fake or plastic trees aren’t any better for the environment than getting a tree cut every year. Time then to say hello to the sustainable Christmas tree – the live potted tree.
Not only will you have a beautiful green tree the entire holiday season, but all year long. These can be rented or bought from your local nursery or farmers market.
When the holiday season is over, you can reuse it for next year by replanting or repotting after Christmas.
If crafts are more your speed, check out Pinterest for some awesome holiday season projects from ladder trees (yes really!) to super stylish timber reuse trees like the one pictured below.
Entertaining guests can create a lot of unnecessary waste. Giving guests a heads up about trying to have a plastic free, zero waste Christmas, or encouraging reuse prior to your dinner party is a good start to alleviate waste.
Here’s two simple things you can do that will make a big difference:
- Use reusable tableware and cutlery and avoid any disposables
- Get menu planning for the holiday season and test your culinary skills creating leftover feasts
Aunty Nora at it again?
Chances are there will be the odd gift coming your way over the festive period that’s not quite what you want. Save it from a lifetime in your closet and net yourself a pretty penny or two by selling any unwanted gifts online or having a garage sale. Garage Sale Trail 2018 takes place on Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 October – lock it in your diary!
You can list and sell 5 items for FREE on eBay, claim the offer here.