How to Have a Planet-Friendly Christmas

Easy sustainable swaps to make your celebrations better for the environment.


From presents to decorations to festive feasts, Christmas is a time of excess – which isn’t great news for our environment. But there are ways to make the festive season more sustainable without taking the joy out of the celebrations. Read on for some eco-friendly swaps that are so easy you won’t even notice them.

Go for fabric

Not all wrapping paper can be recycled, so it’s worth making the switch to wrapping fabric. It’s reusable, cost-effective and looks amazing, too, with plenty of colours and designs on offer. Plus, it’s more pliable, so it works a treat on those hard-to-wrap presents. We call that a win-win. You will, no doubt, receive wrapping paper on gifts bought for you. Be careful opening it and you’ll be able to save it for next year.

Try mindful shopping

Mindful shopping means choosing presents that are not only from conscious brands but will last the distance, too. Rather than a quick fix, it’s about putting real thought into the gift-buying process so it’s less likely to end up in landfill. Shopping locally and opting for Australian brands can also go a long way in making your Christmas greener this year.

Food for thought

Shockingly, 7.6 million tonnes of food is lost or wasted every year in Australia. Avoid being part of the problem by not over-catering for your Christmas celebrations. Think through your menu carefully and consider how much guests are really going to eat. And shop seasonally to make the most of our local produce.

Cut it out

When catering for a lot of people, it can be tempting to go with disposable plates and cutlery but it usually heads straight to landfill. Instead, use your regular crockery and cutlery (or at least biodegradable options). Yes, there will be more washing up but the planet will thank you for it.

Light the way

Whether you’re putting up a few lights or decorating the whole house, opt for LED rather than incandescent bulbs as they consume considerably less energy (and still look amazing). If you’re stringing up lights outdoors, solar-powered versions are another great option to help reduce your carbon footprint – as well as the hit your energy bill usually takes at this time of year.

Make new traditions

The most magical Christmas celebrations pay respect to the past while looking to the future. Make wreaths and table decorations out of materials found in the garden, such as silver gum leaves and bottlebrush, or fashion fallen sticks into the shape of a star. Rather than making Boxing Day just about recovery (and the cricket), you could use the time to sort through gifts and put aside any unwanted ones to donate to a local charity.