How can I do my bit for an environmentally sustainable Christmas?

DECEMBER 1, 2020

Tis the season for a sustainable Yuletide and even small changes such as eco-friendly decorations and LED coloured lighting can help reduce your environmental footprint- and even better make sure you’re on Santa’s ‘Nice List’ this Christmas.  

Eco-friendly decorations

When it comes to eco-friendly decorative tips, who better to get the good oil from than Clean Up Australia, which recommends that if decorations are made from plastic, polystyrene or easily broken glass, put them back and go for natural, organic materials. Sticking to recyclable or compostable materials means if you don’t want to keep decorations year after year, you won’t be creating a bigger eco-footprint every Christmas.

Clean Up Australia recommends dried orange garlands, leaves, and organic materials could be perfect, compostable decorations. If you’ve got your eye on durable glass, porcelain or ceramic decorations make sure they are adornments that you’ll keep for many years to save on waste. 

Recycling decorations is the way to go, although KAB also recommends ‘upcycling’ baubles to aid sustainability. Often old Christmas baubles don’t need anything more than a fresh coat of paint to hang once again on this year’s Christmas tree. 

LED lighting up Christmas

Using LED lighting to sparkle up your Christmas this year can reduce your eco-footprint and save your power bill.

Energy retailer Click Energy calculates that standard incandescent fairy lights consume about 40W per 100 lights. For one home, this works out to be an average cost of $17.79 per 1,000 bulbs through December. If we assume, you’ll be using the lights for five hours each night for the whole month (30 days), the cost can be up to $34 more than your usual bill.

On the other hand, LED Christmas lighting is considerably cheaper, recommends Click Energy. LED lights should only add about $0.1 to $1 to your electricity bill over Christmas. As well as this, LED lights consume, on average, about 1.2W to 2W of electricity per every 100 LED light bulbs, which is 90% less than the standard incandescent fairy lights. That said, if you want LED Christmas lights that twinkle, you’ll pay a bit more but nowhere near the expense of conventional bulbs.

Also, only turn on lights when in use and switch them off at other times. Outdoor lights can be a significant drain on energy so try not to keep them running all night long to save power and reduce your carbon footprint.

Choose local and organic food for Christmas lunch

When it comes to Christmas lunch, Clean Up Australia recommends less is more. In other words, don’t buy extra food, especially if the leftovers will end up in the bin. 

When it comes to food, purchase seasonal, and organic, and where possible buy from your local small businesses, which have had a few challenges during this dramatic year.  

Buying local and organic also means there will be less distance to travel to the store, and fewer chemicals in the production of your turkey, ham, and pudding, which in combination make for a more eco-friendlier Christmas lunch.

Recycle what you don’t use

Make sure when Christmas is over that you recycle your decorations made from paper, glass or some types of plastic and double-check with your council to see when they’re doing their Christmas tree recycling drive!