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Can we make this Christmas cleaner and greener?

Can we make this Christmas cleaner and greener?

Don’t look now but the malls already have their Christmas decorations up! Somehow 2022 has slipped by and we’re rounding the corner into summer season already. Us kiwis generate about 30% more rubbish over the silly season. So, before the radio starts blasting festive carols, we want to share some ideas about how we can make this Christmas a little cleaner and greener.

Think small, local and sustainable when buying gifts

Show your support for kiwi businesses by intentionally buying something local. There are many Facebook pages dedicated to local artisans – check out Chooice, NZ Made Products, or Made by Mums Marketplace NZ. And you’re welcome to come and peruse Giftware & Sets collection too where you'll find designer keep bags, starter sets, zero waste shopping sets, and gift cards.

Make it a green Christmas party

Thanks to the pandemic we missed out on office parties and prizegivings last year so, understandably, we’re all rather excited to be able to celebrate together. But it’s absolutely possible to have a big bash, with small (environmental) impact.

🌱 Use recycled, unbleached napkins
🌱 Provide bins to sort the waste: recyclable, compost, landfill
🌱 Use compostable cling wrap to save leftovers
🌱 Use quality cups and plates that can be reused over again (you could even go ‘mad hatter tea party style’ and use antique looking china from a second-hand shop!).
🌱 Favour reusable over single-use - this goes for cutlery, drink containers, and cups
🌱 Bring suitably sized portions with you in compostable resealable bags (available in snack, sandwich, and storage size)
🌱 If heading into the outdoors for a lawn party or office picnic, checking the area before you leave to make sure you've taken all waste with you
🌱 Encourage ride sharing among guests

Embrace the Christmas spirit in your gifting

Forget the trashy stocking stuffers and cheap office secret Santas. Buy one good quality, durable and practical gift. Or give a living present; our friends at Trees That Count make it super easy to gift a native tree donations virtually - and your recipient will receive a beautiful gift voucher to boot.

🌱 Think about who you're buying for - give something that's useful and practical
🌱 Give a living present - a tree or pot plant or herbs for the garden
🌱 Get crafty and make something. Or, if that's a stretch too far, buy something locally made
🌱 Think second-hand or upcycled. The key is matching it to the recipient - the right piece of memorabilia or heirloom or second-hand book will be treasured dearly
🌱 Give a donation on the recipients behalf - much better than purchasing a novelty throw-away gift
🌱 Gift an experience - a voucher won’t end up in landfill, you’ll make wonderful memories, and you’re supporting a local tourist operator too
🌱 Give gifts that promote further sustainability - a reusable coffee cup for dad, some cotton tote bags for your sister, a rat trap for grandad, and a composting starter kit for mum

Take Mother Nature’s lead on decorating
Skip the balloons and use nature as your inspo. Decorate your dining table or picnic rug with pine cones and branches.

Showcase nature in your gift packaging
Use recycled kraft paper (look for the FSC mark) gift wrap or old fabric to wrap and decorate with a twigs, leaves or even a flower from your garden. Or, if you do buy gift wrap, make sure it’s simple and recyclable. Avoid any wrapping that is decorated with glitter or too thin to contain good quality fibres. If in doubt, give it the scrunch test - if it bounces back out easily then it’s likely to contain more than just simple paper; it may contain plastic or foil.

🌱 Save pretty gift wrap and ribbons to use again (if not as wrappers as least as kids holiday craft supplies)
🌱 If you buy gift wrap make sure it’s simple and recyclable; not lined with plastic, or foil, or decorated with glitter.
🌱 Re-use old fabric to wrap

Send with care
If you’re mailing Christmas gifts please consider how you're packaging them. Our compostable courier bags are biodegradable, contain corn starch, and printed with non-toxic inks. They also feature a second line of seal making them reusable and extending their life before they hit the compost heap.

If you have any other ideas, or ways that you’re planning to tread more lightly this silly season, please tag us on social media so we can share your good ideas!
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