Sustainable Christmas with Soap Opera
Christmas is perceived to be all about family, joy and giving back. While it is a wonderful day to spend with friends and family, mass consumption and mass consumerism during this period often results in mass waste. We can get so caught up in finding the best gifts, we don’t stop to consider the environmental impact of one day. We’ve put together a few simple things you can do to help create a more sustainable Christmas.
Australians use around 8,000 tonnes of gift wrap each Christmas, most of which goes straight in the bin. Those gorgeous papers are often dyed or laminated and may contain non-paper additives such as gold and silver coloured shapes, glitter or plastics, which mean it can’t even be recycled. A more sustainable alternative is brown craft paper, which can be dressed up with ribbons or stamps, and can be recycled after it’s been used.
Take some time to plan out what you will cook for the big day, and then only buy what you need. We tend to over indulge on Christmas Day and leave behind a mountain of leftovers to go to waste. Being strict with your shopping list will help reduce this unnecessary waste and save you money to spend on other things.
Shop your Values
Your money is an extension of your voice, use it where it counts. Don’t support slave labour? Don’t shop unethical brands. Don’t drop your principles simply because it’s Christmas.
Make the effort to buy organic, natural and fair-trade products where you can. Support small businesses, especially small Australian businesses, visit small boutique stores and craft markets rather than huge department stores, and buy handmade for that extra special touch.
It may sound really simple, especially with the big supermarkets banning single use plastic bags but bring reusable bags with you when you shop! Plastic bags have a huge impact on the environment, the best thing you can do is say “no” to them at the checkout.
Kids especially get a lot of gifts at Christmas, rather than trying to guess what they might want, simply ask a parent. Get them something they actually want or need, rather than just mindless junk.
These are just a few of the many things you could do to help reduce your environmental impact this Christmas. We’re doing our part at Soap Opera by ensuring all of our packaging is either made from recycled materials, is recyclable or reusable.