Oct 25, 2019
Health & Lifestyle | Kristina Cassar Dowling
’Tis the season to head to the shops and blow your last two paychecks on absolutely useless stuff that so random and obscure; your anxiety meds won’t be able to keep up. But there you are, rummaging around Paperchase and WHS to get the perfect wrapping paper for Nana’s Christmas present (shh, it’s a hot water bottle) or the most absolutely stunning Christmas crackers to set on the perfectly laid table. Oh the magic, oh the festive feeling is pumpin’ now. Serious tone of voice: These are some of the most wasteful choices we can make in the holiday season and our one and only habitable planet is not too chuffed with our selfish choices.
Let’s break this down, analyse it from a more sustainable point of view while keeping the life of Christmas in total focus. Christmas is the absolute celebration of the year but much like little kids and dogs, the planet doesn’t quite understand or tolerate ‘exceptions’. Here are a few zero-waste options you can adopt for your holiday bonanza.
Let’s face it, Christmas without gifts is a right bore. The best thing about Christmas Day is that special moment where the host claims; “OK everyone; it’s time for presents!” And like a child on Christmas Day; you rush to the tree, looking for your gifts an giving every wrapped item a good shake. But with the adrenaline rush comes frantic non-eco behaviour. Papers and ripped and thrown literally anywhere, ribbons, plastic and cardboard find their way into the same ‘recycling’ bag and every sustainable heart is broken in an instant.
Why not use fabric to wrap your gifts this year? Or possibly even buy a few reusable gift boxes? The most industrial look I’ve ever pulled off with my gift wrapping - old newspapers with a piece of hemp twine.
Everyone loves a good party, especially ones where the food is fresh and the booze is flowing. But finding out ways to reduce your impact when hosting for a number of guests may be a tad tricky. Unless… you opt for homemade beauties to feature for nibble needs.
Prepare a menu that’s simple to execute so you can make the absolute most of your time. A good cheese board never hurt anyone… well, except the vegans and lactose intolerant folk, but none the less a super option. Take reusable containers with you to the cheesemonger and get a good selection of hard, soft, blue and goat cheeses plus tonnes of fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and artisanal jams.
Homemade dips are a lot cheaper, healthier and mostly zero-waste. Think hummus and carrot sticks, garlic dip with some water biscuits and a few other bits and bobs to satisfy the crowd. Always remember to buy bigger items that are not individually wrapped and reuse as many of the containers in your shopping list as possible.
Your choices make a huge difference; think about it - if you keep your carbon footprint down and get all your guests to follow suit, at least while they are in your home, (and hopefully outside the holidays too) you would have instigated a chain of carbon footprint reductions in your circle of friends and family. All you need is the seed.