Medium sophie negus

Sophie Negus

WeTeachMe intern

Every home has its own Christmas tradition. Nonstop feasting and exchanging presents with the fambam. Maybe binge-watching classics like “Crackers”, “Red Christmas”, “Bush Christmas” (original and reboot). Just love, joy, and good vibes all around, right? But much as we hate to say it, the best time of the year also has a dark side: Thanks to our excessively festive ways, Australia produces 30% more waste during December!


A zero-waste holiday - is it even possible, when we can’t wait to trade cheat day for Santa pants? Yes, Virginia, a more sustainable Christmas, unlike flying reindeer and 24/7 elfin workshops, can be real; but only if you follow these tips for a waste-free Yuletide.


Green your gifts


Give a unique experience and no one is impossible to shop for. Australians, especially the women, will pick experience as the best present over any old material thing. It’s regifting-proof, there are endless possibilities, and the memories last forever.


Also, we are more likely to treasure a gift that has our name on it. Give something that’s personalised or, even better, handmade by you! Anyone can craft something beautiful out of recycled or reusable materials, like this fun #giftinajar!



Simply fill a container with the dry ingredients for a small batch of brownies or other dessert, with the instructions attached using a piece of coloured string. And voila! A perfect present that everyone, even first-time bakers, will love to make - and eat!


How about preloved gifts? Craft fairs and vintage flea markets are great for antiquing and shopping for collectibles. If you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves, you’re bound to find a rare, meaningful gift that doesn’t cost the earth.


Ditch the gift wrapping


It’s about the present, not the wrapping. And so, if you only make one small change this season, let it be this: No more gift wrappers! Most people discard it without thought and, because they contain plastic coating and glitter, most commercial wrappings aren’t even recyclable. Plus, did you know that we spend half a billion dollars on wrapping paper alone? 😱😱😱


So why not make your own? Maybe you can decorate some plain parcel paper with the kids. Or even use old newspapers or magazines for that rustic, vintage feel.



Or try scarves and tea towels. They are useful presents by themselves and also a fabulous way to wrap difficult shapes.




Be creative with holiday leftovers


Before we talk leftovers, when shopping for ingredients for Christmas dinner, remember to go local! They’re fresher, better for the environment, and if you buy at farmers markets, easy on the budget, too.




Nothing is made with more love than a Christmas meal; but what about the day after? Take a cooking class or two to become more creative in the kitchen, you won’t run out of ideas for leftover recipes. Full turkey dinner? Whip up a turkey curry. Or add some white sauce to create a delicious pie filling. Extend the festivities by inviting friends and family over to try your tasty new concoctions.


Give the gift of time


Taking a holiday break? As Willy Wonka put it, “time is a precious thing, never waste it.” Something to think about doing, not only on #GivingTuesday but the rest of the year, too.


Join a bake sale, support a toy drive, or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Contribute to a charitable institution that distributes furniture, clothing, and other household goods to families in need. Just one hour of your time can change someone’s life today!




Happy holidays!