Easy ideas for a greener Christmas
Get crafty and make your own decorations. This is a good way to keep the kids busy once school is out. Peruse Pinterest for hundreds of ideas. Some of our favorites include dried orange garlands, origami stars, candle jars, and dried flowers instead of tinsel to adorn the tree.
Sustainably wrap gifts. Surprisingly even newsprint can look fabulous when adorned with a reusable ribbon or oversized bow. Or you can (re)use fabric instead of wrapping paper and adorn with pine twigs, twine, or even old Christmas decorations. You don’t need to be a sewer and have cotton offcuts lying around; cut up old clothes that aren’t going to be donated.
Buy less but buy better. Don’t get sucked into wasting your money on unwanted token presents. Buy something practical that you know will be used (a handmade soap or fudge), or get a voucher for an experience, or ask someone close to the recipient what they want. Go for quality over quantity. And, where possible, choose recycled or locally made products.
Try plastic-free Christmas crackers. Or even have a god at making your own! Use toilet roll inners, brown paper and a sweet inside instead of a tacky plastic toy that’s treasured by no one. You can still include a joke and a homemade crate-paper crown.
Choose local fare for the table. Hit your local farmers market in the weeks before Christmas for authentic locally produced goods. If you’re culinary centerpiece is a ham or turkey, order one that was farmed within your region.
Donate what is leftover or unwanted. Throwing away food when so many people are going hungry in this cost-of-living crisis makes no sense! Many churches are charities are adept at distributing food parcels or contribute to your local community pantry/pataka kai. Leave unwanted gifts unopened and donate them to a hospice or salvation army shop.
Give homemade or e-cards. Store bought Christmas cards are rarely kept for long and they’re expensive to boot! Channel your inner artisan and have a go at producing your own design (it could be painted, drawn, photographed, computer generated or reproduced). Or, if you have children, honour them by choosing a piece of their art for the family’s cards.
Normalise re-gifting. One man’s trash really can be another man’s treasure. Keeping a gift you don’t want or need is wasteful, so regift it in a manner that doesn’t offend the original giver. Give it to someone who you genuinely think will like it or could benefit from it – or donate it.
Get outdoors and enjoy greenspace. A true kiwi Christmas is spent outside. Enjoy a simple beach picnic, a family bush walk, or a game of backyard cricket. Arm yourself with jandals, sunscreen and a hat. Enjoy!
For more ideas refer back to last year's blog post.