Author: Ryan Collins
It seems that Santa might have been on to something when he made a list and checked it twice. With Australians spending over $1,079 at Christmas in recent years, some forward planning for meals and presents can lead to big savings.
The 12 Do’s of Christmas include tips for reducing food waste and excess packaging, and making more environmentally friendly choices when buying gifts.
On average, Australian households throw out 14% of weekly groceries worth about $1,100 each year, and this is most pervasive at Christmas. Collectively that’s more than $10 billion of food every year, representing almost half of all municipal waste that goes to landfill. When you throw food in the bin it’s like throwing money away. It also represents a waste of the water, fuel and resources it took to get the food from the paddock to your plate.
Planning meals ahead of time and shopping accordingly, opening food as you need it and resisting the urge to over-cater will reduce this waste and the cost of festive celebrations.
This year we’re tipped to spend $539 on presents, up 28% on last year, many of which are unwanted.
Taking someone shopping for their present, giving experiences, gift vouchers or donations are great ways of reducing the likelihood of a present sitting in a cupboard unused. Buying presents in plenty of time avoids those last-minute panic buys, saving you money and lessening the environmental impact of Christmas
Electronic waste is also a big theme at Christmas as people receive new electronic items like mobiles, tablets and computers and toys as gifts, which are often battery-heavy. As electronics include non-renewable and toxic materials, it’s important to make sure that old ones are re-homed or responsibly recycled.
Planet Ark’s 12 Do’s of Christmas includes even more tips for a merry, green Christmas.
The RecyclingNearYou website and hotline are supported by sponsors Bingo Bins, 'Cartridges 4 Planet Ark', MobileMuster, TechCollect and Tetra Pak.
Ryan is the Recycling Programs Manager at Planet Ark. After nearly a decade working in the banking and finance industry Ryan was drawn to a career in environmental conservation that saw him work in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji. With a background in psychology and environmental management, Ryan’s role at Planet Ark since 2012 has been focused on developing engaging and positive environmental behaviour change programs to help everyone recycle and reduce waste.