From Rev Elizabeth Raine
Minister - Tuggeranong Uniting Church
We continue our theme of reducing waste this Christmas with a few more tips on how you can have an environmentally friendly Christmas.
One of the first things we can do is ignore the ads we see on TV and other places that are trying to get us to consume lots of stuff. Maybe it’s time to rethink our traditional Christmas gift lists and dinners and consider the impact that they have on our environment. This week, we will look at gifts and cards.
Plan Your Shopping
Last minute panic shopping often ends up with a suite of unsuitable purchases and lots of packaging. Try to be organised and plan ahead for what you need to buy for Christmas day and make a list and stick to it. Try and avoid the temptation of buying unnecessary extras.
Reusable/ Refillable Gifts
Reusable gifts make great sustainable Christmas gifts. For example, consider reusable coffee cups, water bottles, mason jars filled with special treats you have made, bees wax wraps and all types of produce and shopping bags available now.
Rather than buying more stuff, consider buying an experience such as movie and concert tickets, zoo memberships or adoptions, or taking a friend out for the day and spend quality time together. Steer away from material presents and gift them a service. Is there something your friends have always wanted to learn or try out, but never got around to doing? Perhaps they would like a guitar, cooking or painting lesson. For those who have everything, consider gifting a charity donation that helps others or the environment. Many charities have eCards which allow you to gift chickens or goats or education to poor people in developing countries, or that can help purchase native bushland or protect endangered species here in Australia.
Recycle, reuse and recreate
Australians use more than 150,000km of wrapping paper during Christmas – enough to wrap around Earth's equator nearly 4 times. Most of this ends in landfill as much of it is unrecyclable due to it containing plastic, metal and dyes. If you want to use wrapping paper, consider using recycled gift wrapping and cards you have saved. You can make your own cards out of old Christmas cards. You can also pop your gift into a handmade bag, reusable gift box or wrap it in a second hand scarf, tea towel or plain paper.