Christmas can be a tough time to go zero waste, or even just keep waste low. But seeing as you’re here reading we think you’re up to the challenge! Here are some simple tips to help you through the festive season without falling into the rabbit hole of buying a lot of useless cr*p!
Hand-made gifts and decorations
Hand-made gifts and decorations are a great way to reduce waste. There are a world of options depending on your skills and passions. And whether it’s baking, sewing, potting plants or painting great artworks, each gift will be unique because you made it! Whatever you choose, you can be sure your environmental footprint will be smaller than for store-bought gifts.
Added bonus – hand-made gifts help create stories and memories for yourself and for your friends and family receiving the gifts.
Buy pre-loved, shop consciously
Visiting your local second-hand store is the perfect way to shop for long-lasting, zero waste, unique gifts. While most of us will need to move around between stores in different neighbourhoods, if you’re in Sweden you can just go to ReTuna – the world’s first recycled-goods mall. Products of all shapes, sizes and categories are recycled or up-cycled and given a new life. How awesome is that?
If you can’t quite find what you’re looking for at the second-hand shop remember to shop consciously. Less is often more, so buy only what you need. Look out for eco-friendly stores and products that are doing their bit for the environment. Check out our gift ideas, our recycled swimwear, and our favourite shops around Canggu to make your zero waste shopping easier. Or check out the Mimic Marketplace which has sustainable brands who donate to our charity. For every purchase we pick up kilos of trash!
Wrapping it all up
When it comes to wrapping it’s a case of use what you’ve got. It’s the best way to save money.
If you don’t have spare wrapping consider:
Painting old boxes for larger gifts
Making your own with old pieces of fabric and ribbons
Using tote bags, tea towels or food containers that can be re-used after the gift is open
All the good food
It will come as no surprise that thousands upon thousands of tonnes of perfectly edible food goes to waste over the holiday season. The big Christmas feast has become tradition in countries the world over and is definitely not zero waste. It’s costly to our finances, and the health of the planet.
Wasted food will more often than not end up in landfill where it sits and rots. Rotting food produces methane, a potent contributor to global warming.
Some simple tips to reducing your food waste at Christmas (and all the time):
• Plan for what you need before you go shopping. Make a list and stick to it. Don’t be tempted by the many, many promotions for items you don’t need.
• Don’t over cater. Think about how many people will be eating and what a reasonable meal looks like. If friends are bringing over share plates, remember to account for those when estimating portions.
• Store food properly. Use good quality storage containers to make your leftovers last longer. You can also separate left-over foods into batches that can be frozen and eaten at a later date.
• Friendly take-aways. Not all leftovers can be frozen, and if you don’t fancy eating the same meal for the next week, ask your guests to take leftovers with them. Have your reusable containers ready!
If you’re really honest, you don’t need hundreds of gifts to make you happy. And the planet doesn’t need the waste that comes with the consumption of all those gifts. The festive season is a time for being around friends and family. More than the physical gifts, your memories will come from the holiday adventures, the childish games, the music and the many laughs shared with those closest to you. If you’re in Bali join us for our Christmas cleanups over the festive season.
We hope you all have a very merry Christmas!
Emma & Chelsea X