The silly season is fast approaching and with it, waste! But never fear, here are seven quick tips for a sustainable Christmas 2020.

From the mounds of gift wrapping and ribbon littering the lounge room floor to the delicious indulgent Christmas feast, there is never a time that sees as much waste than Christmas. Even though we could all use some extravagant Christmas spirit after the year 2020 has thrown at us, we think it’s important now more than ever to take care of our planet, and with that, a little extra care with our waste this Christmas.

Even though a single annual event, unfortunately, our Christmas festivities heavily contribute to the reported five million tonnes of waste collected in Australia each year. According to KitchenAid, Aussies waste over 25 percent of the food they prepare over the Christmas period. Not to mention the 150,000-kilometres of wrapping paper wasted each year as reported by CARE. That’s enough wrapping paper to wrap around earth’s equator nearly four times!

And, that’s not even including the estimated value of unwanted gifts which, according to Salvos Stores, is at a whopping $669 million.

But never fear! If you’re itching to kick these wasteful habits you’ve come to the right place. Here are seven quick and easy tips to make your Christmas in 2020 more sustainable.

<strong>1.</strong> Ditch the Wrapping Paper
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1. Ditch the Wrapping Paper

It’s no surprise really that this small part of Christmas weighs heavily on our environment. Let’s ditch the wrapping paper littered floors and instead opt for something more sustainable. We suggest purchasing a couple of recycled paper rolls for your gifts, or, if you’re the creative type, draw your own Christmas designs! Better yet, invest in some natural cloth bags or cloth wrap for the gift-giving season. Not only will you be saving paper, but you’ll be gifting your loved ones something they can repurpose into a tea towel, use in crafts or even re-use as next year’s wrapping!

<strong>2.</strong> Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree; You have got to Go!
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2. Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree; You have got to Go!

Christmas trees are without a doubt the pinnacle of Christmas. But, unfortunately, they are also a pinnacle of waste. Most plastic trees will only see about 20 years of usage before they are sent off to landfill. If you’re like us and can’t picture Christmas without the glorious tree, instead of buying a plastic one, get in contact with a Christmas tree farm and see if you can purchase a tree to be grown there. Its growth will contribute to oxygen levels, remove dust from the air and decrease carbon dioxide in the air. Plus, it is easily recyclable thanks to many councils around Australia offering to pick up old Christmas trees for no extra charge – winning! Or, if you’re willing to change up tradition, purchase a smaller Australian native plant like a rosemary bush or even a simple pineapple (if you’re imaginative enough) and decorate that instead!

<strong>3.</strong> Plan Christmas Dinner Wisely
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3. Plan Christmas Dinner Wisely

Instead of rushing to the shops, searching for every type of food you can get your hands on, take the time to construct a size appropriate meal for your Christmas lunch/dinner. Perhaps change to half cuts of meat to avoid excess wastage. Or, if you still want to have the whole ham and find yourself with a few too many bits left over, why not freeze or compost the leftovers? Composting is a great way to get rid of your Christmas leftovers without negatively affecting the earth. Plus, it’s a lovely treat for your local worms! And if you’re feeling really daring, why not ditch the meat entirely this Christmas? Try Melbourne’s Bekka Restaurant Fried Cauliflower recipe. It’s a delicious, crunchy treat that will not only have your guests praising you for weeks, but one that is a little more eco-friendly too!

<strong>4.</strong> Gift with Care
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4. Gift with Care

A time filled with such joy and appreciation should not cause this much of a strain on the environment or our mental and financial well-being. So, this year, why not gift with care? Ask your family and friends for one thing they would really enjoy avoiding unwanted gifts. Or, gift an experience for your loved ones as opposed to just more stuff. Maybe even get creative and make your own gifts? Try a new recipe and share the end result with your family, or, make them a memory book to remind them how much they mean to you!

<strong>5</strong>. D.I.Y those Decorations
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5. D.I.Y those Decorations

Keeping in style with Christmas decorations is not only expensive and exhausting, but harmful to the environment too. This Christmas 2020 why not make a few of your own pieces? Collect some sticks and spray paint them white to build a lovely tree-style piece, or, spray paint some pine cones from the backyard. You could even turn an old pool noodle into a wreath with enough leaves, twigs and Pinterest inspiration! And, to save the environment just that little bit more (and your bank account) try making your own advent calendar this year, but instead of filling it with lollies and treats, why not fill it with acts of service. Perhaps you could donate a gift? Help out at a local soup kitchen? Or even just call a loved one and have a good chat to them. Not only are you spreading kindness, but eco-friendliness too!

<strong>6.</strong> Say Goodbye to the Plastic Plate!
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6. Say Goodbye to the Plastic Plate!

Ah the infamous plastic plate. It’s been serving Christmas lunch and dinners for decades, but its reign must come to an end. This year, look at investing in some quality Christmas dining sets to avoid the looming waste of plastic plates. Find a matching set like this beautiful XMAS Festive Berries set by Morgan & Finch and use it for years to come. Or, if you’re feeling frugal, buy a mismatched set at an op shop! Not only is it more sustainable, but it’s that tad more exciting too.

<strong>7.</strong> Switch to LED or Solar Christmas Lights
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7. Switch to LED or Solar Christmas Lights

Everybody loves to see the twinkling lights adorned on the trees, in the yards and even along the rooftops (if you’re keen enough). So this year why not keep the festive spirit alight by switching to solar-powered or LED lights? They are not only better for the environment but better for your bank account too! Plus, they’ll keep for years to come. A win-win if you ask us.

Feeling festive? Check out Australia’s 10 Best Advent Calendars For Christmas 2020. Or, if you’re wanting to dive more into your sustainability practices, then Sip Your Way To Sustainability With Tripod Coffee’s Compostable Pods!

Feature image: Photographed by Bogdan Sonjachnyj. Image via Shutterstock.
Editor’s Note: Our writers and contributors have independently selected and curated this article, and all opinions are their own. This article does contain affiliate links which allow us to make revenue off some purchases made by our readers.