Go green this Christmas

Green Christmas: Eco-friendly wrapping paper and cards are available this Christmas. (Photo: SCRGroup)

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s important to look at ways to minimise your environmental impact this holiday season.

Here are a few tips that you and your family can follow to minimise your carbon footprint this Christmas.

Christmas tree

Although plastic trees are an affordable alternative to a real Christmas tree, they are usually made from non-recyclable materials that can potentially be hazardous to your health and to the environment.

Instead of throwing away your unwanted tree, advertising it on exchange sites such as Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace or donating it to a charity shop, can be a great way to give your unwanted tree a second life.

And instead of buying a new tree, why not use non-traditional plants or decorations, which will not only create a stylish and unique piece of art for the holiday season, but when Christmas is finished for another year, they can be seamlessly moved to where they were pre-holiday season.

Recycled wrapping paper

Did you know that not all wrapping paper is recyclable? Paper with glitter, foil, plastic coating and metallic flakes can’t be placed in the recycling bin, meaning it goes straight to landfill.

To help combat this, why not recycle last year’s wrapping paper? Of you can use your children’s old artwork or even old newspapers — old editions of The News will do just fine!

Doing this will help save more than 8000 tonnes of wrapping paper that is used during the Christmas period in Australia alone — that’s enough wrapping paper to cover Bondi Beach 68 times!

Christmas cards

While the number of Christmas cards delivered by Australia Post each year is decreasing thanks to text messages, social media and e-cards, there is still a long way to go in order to reduce the number of cards and gift tags used by Australians each year — most of which end up in landfill and can take up to 30 years to decompose.

Recycling your cards can be a great way to minimise your environmental impact but getting crafty and making your own Christmas cards can also help. If you don’t have the time to create your own cards, recycled cards are available to buy.

Deck the halls

Instead of buying new decorations each year, upcycling or recycling your older decorations can be just as good. Decorating, painting or simply covering your old decorations can be great options to help you be eco-friendly, but it also will help you save some hard-earned cash!

Using nature can give your home a more organic feel, with holly branches and pine cones being the perfect way to give your home that rustic Christmas aesthetic.

The gift that keeps on giving

Sadly, many gifts given this Christmas will end up in the back of the wardrobe or, worse, in landfill. This year, make a little extra effort to ensure that any unwanted presents go to good use.

Any time you can reuse, recycle or upcycle an item instead of throwing it away is a small victory for the environment.

Recycling is easier than ever, with many organisations such as SCRgroup offering drop-off hubs for unwanted clothing, handbags, accessories, toys and shoes.

These can be a great way to minimise your environmental impact, as well as giving your unwanted gifts a second life.

So, this Christmas, let’s try to minimise our carbon footprint so we can keep our environment healthy and clean.