The 12 Dos of Christmas

12 days of xmasWith Christmas quickly creeping up on us, we’re probably all planning on more shopping, eating, drinking and traveling than any other time of the year.  Unfortunately with the fun of the silly season tends to come a whole lot of waste.  This year, Planet Ark has come to our aid with some great tips for making your festive season more environmentally friendly, and the best news is they’re all positive actions that we can all easily do.

  1. Buy decorations that can be re-used for years to come, or alternatively make your own – this is incidentally a really fun activity that your kids will love!
  2. Whether you’re throwing a party for friends, or organising your work’s Christmas event, consider the recycling options available to you.
  3. When shopping for Christmas gifts, think about low impact choices like special experiences, or durable items the person really needs.
  4. Wrap presents in paper rather than plastic or foil wrappings, and then be sure to re-use or recycle them afterwards.  Another fun activity is getting the kids to draw or paint on butcher paper, then using this to wrap gifts.
  5. When buying food for Christmas lunch or dinner, try to prevent food wastage by opening only what you’ll need.  If there are left-overs, make sure you store them appropriately so you’ll be able to enjoy them later.
  6. Compost any food scraps you can’t avoid.
  7. Sort and recycle cans, cartons, bottles and other plastics and packaging.
  8. We know people tend to start using the normal garbage bin once the recycling bin fills, so flatten cartons and cans before putting them in the recycling bin to save on waste.
  9. Recycle your old mobile phones, TVs, computers and printer cartridges as they’re replaced.
  10. When giving toys or gifts that require batteries, it’s a great idea to include a recharger pack with the gift to reduce its impact on the environment.
  11. Christmas often means you’re going to be on the road more than usual, going from Christmas lunch at one venue, to dinner at another.  There are also a lot of driving holidays at this time of year, and generally more parties and places to be.  You can help your car to run more efficiently by inflating the types and having the engine tuned.  If you’re running late on your car’s scheduled service, try to squeeze it in before the silly season gets underway.
  12. Of course, the end of the Christmas season brings its fair share of waste too.  If you’ve bought a real tree to decorate in your home, look for a post-Christmas tree mulching service, or take it to the garden section of your nearest recycling facility.

Naturally we all want to have fun during the summer holidays, and enjoy all the parties and presents of Christmas.  Just try to keep Planet Ark’s 12 Do’s of Christmas in your mind, and you’ll be able to have a great time while taking positive steps towards protecting our environment.