• Stockpile love, not landfill this Christmas (+ chance to win!)

    December 11, 2012 • LIFE

    A mountain of Christmas gifts and goods make their way out of stores and into homes like yours each Chrismas season.  But, have you ever thought about how many of your well presented Chrismas gifts move on to landfill by January?  

    Slowing the migration is as easy as setting your family the ‘Green Christmas Challenge’ by asking how little can we send to landfill this Christmas?  Set yourselves the target to make your wheelie bin as empty as you can each week and make eco friendly decisions that reduce your waste and make your Chrismas a green eco friendly celebration.

    Sit the team down before Christmas this year and talk about ways to reuse, reduce and recycle.  Here are some ideas to get you started…

    1. Eco friendly plastic-free picnics
    Disposable plastic plates and cups are made from petrochemicals, creating pollution in their production and when thrown out they sit in landfill for ever.  Choose re-usable plates and cutlery that you wash up or compostable catering and picnic ware.  They add a chic eco-friendly style to your table and can be put onto your garden as mulch, rather than in the bin.

    2. Trim a living tree
    When Santa arrives in his carbon-neutral sleigh, surprise him with a live Australian Wollemi pine (pictured). This recently discovered prehistoric tree is now available in nurseries or you can order online here.  A potted Wollemi can grow with your family to be trimmed year after year.  Or, why not make it a tradition to find a lovely Eucalyptus branch that can be composted when the Christmas festivities are over.

    3. Wrap it again
    A great way to stretch the budget and save piles of waste is to wrap presents in newspaper, magazines and even junk mail.  For children use the comics, for car lovers use the motoring pages.  Instead of wrapping, place gifts inside re-usable shopping bags, or sew cloth bags from festive Christmas material that your family can re-tie with ribbon every year.  For an extra special, eco Christmas touch we have a great green collection of Christmas cards, wrap and twine.

    4. Detour past the bin
    Ask yourself, is this christmas gift likely to end up in the bin within a few weeks?  If yes, choose something else.  The old saying “quality not quantity” is a great friend of the planet.  Cheap items still use the planet’s limited resources, energy and water to manufacture.  Rather than buy a risky gift, consider a gift voucher or make a donation to a charity on behalf of the person.  Should you receive an unsuitable gift, pass it straight on to the Salvos.

    Food scraps make up a large portion of rubbish and once in landfill they generate methane, a concentrated greenhouse gas.  Compost at home instead and turn leftovers into fertiliser for your garden.  The Bokashi bin is a popular system that sits conveniently in your kitchen.

    5. Packaging-free paradise
    Picture a paradise where Christmas morning is free from mounds of discarded plastic packaging.  It only takes a little extra thought and effort.  Locally and/or handmade Christmas gifts are less likely to be over packaged.  A trip to the local farmer’s markets will also help you stock up on fresh festive food with minimal packaging (or check out Food Connect if you live in Brisbane or Sydney for locally grown food!)  We can’t guarantee there won’t be extended family member’s talking rubbish this Christmas, but perhaps, with your encouragement you can get your family asking “is this for landfill, recycling or composting?”

    Image source: www.wollemipine.com

    :: ECO CHRISTMAS TREE COMPETITION ::

    We are giving away a summer entertaining pack (1 x 25 round palm leaf plates, 2 x Green Bean cutlery sets – 20 pack of each in forks and knives, 1 x pack of 114 red striped paper straws, 1 x Nature+ Neoflam 28cm non stick fry pan in lime valued at $179.85). 

     To be eligible for the draw you need to*:

    Submit a photo of your eco, fair trade Christmas tree by uploading to our Biome Eco Christmas Tree Competition Flickr account.  Winner will be chosen by our team members based upon their favourite eco and/or ethically trimmed Christmas tree.

    * Competition ends midnight, Thursday, 3rd January 2013.  Australian residents only.  If a prize item is out of stock, we may substitute for similar items of the same value.