Christmas is traditionally a time of excess, in every way. While the added strain on your pants after eating too many Christmas goodies can be easily relieved by transitioning back to a healthy lifestyle, the extra pressure the festive season places on the environment is a slippery downhill slope that is much harder for Mother Earth to recover from.

Buyequip’s Naomi Szafarz provides some guilt-free guidance to creating a Christmas season that’s still fun for all while being a little bit kinder on the planet and its resources.

  1. Spend sustainably

There is no stronger statement in this world than voting with your dollar.

By taking a little extra time to research sustainable gifts and sustainable companies with whom to spend your hard-earned cash, you’ll not only send a clear message to manufacturers that green is the way forward, you might even quietly convert some family and friends to the same methods for future holidays.

  1. Consider second hand products

Look. Some people squirm at this idea at first, but it doesn’t take long to catch on. There are many terrific options for second hand products. How about some books for your friend with the giant bookcase? Some beautiful recycled glass objects to add to your stylish aunt’s home décor?

When it comes to electronic devices, you can get perfectly serviceable refurbished phones, tablets and laptops for half the price or even less. And if bought from a certified reseller, they always come with a warranty.

  1. Practice ‘Out with the old’

With so many fun new goods doing the rounds, it’s a perfect opportunity to be all “in with the new.” But before you get too excited, try to be more mindful of how you work “out with the old.”

Pass any working but replaced electronic devices down to friends, family members, or kids of friends first. And if they’ve done their dash, ensure that you use secure and responsible disposal methods for any e-waste.

Remember too – toys, clothes, jewellery, DVDs and some household items can always be donated instead of thrown away.

  1. Don’t wrap, or wrap sustainably

Wrapping paper is one of the most wasteful uses of paper. It’s touched for three seconds then ripped off, rolled up and thrown in the bin. Avoid using it by starting a stash of gift bags that you store year round then re-use during the festival season – then keep the ones that you receive for the following year.

If you receive something wrapped in paper, try to remove it gently and stash with the bags for reuse later. If you are looking for something to do with all the kids’ drawings and paintings from daycare or school that are gathering dust at the bottom of a drawer, use them as wrapping paper for family presents. It’s a sweet and personal touch.


  1. Ask people what they want

This may seem obvious. But if you spend money on something that someone is never going to use, you’ve essentially wasted not only your cash but also the time, resources and energy that went into manufacturing the gift and its packaging in the first place. So ask first! Alternatively, if you desperately want to keep gifts a surprise, ask people to give you a few items to choose from.

  1. Set sustainable goals for the New Year

The festive season celebrates the year just gone, but it’s also a perfect time to look forward to the year ahead. Use your New Year’s resolutions to help make our world a better place.

Whether it’s pledging to switch off instead of standby, buy rechargeable batteries, recycle all those old devices [] that have been sitting around forever, or start doing cash for containers, change starts at home with the individual.

  1. Forego the hot meals

It’s Australia. And it’s summer. Do we really need a roast pork, lamb, chicken and ham with potatoes and hot pudding? Not only will you and your oven be working for two days straight, you’ll most likely be running the air con the whole time to deal with the heat from it.

Your local fisho or trawler reseller can do a beautiful platter of local, sustainable cold seafood, and some cold veggie platters and fruit salad with icecream make for a much more Summery (and healthier!) Christmas lunch that won’t chew the power.

  1. Go solar with the decorations

Everyone loves Christmas lights. But if you don’t have a solar system on your roof, then choosing solar powered lights is definitely the way to go. These days they’re pretty much everywhere, and they’re cheap as chips, too.

  1. Get people on board

You don’t need to be obnoxious about it, but letting people know what you’re doing and why (“hey guys, just letting you know your presents won’t be wrapped this year cause we’re trying to be a bit more sustainable/reduce some of the waste around Christmas”) can really be inspiring.

Some ideas just need one person in the circle to start, for them to take off. Over to you!

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