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Karen’s waste free Christmas and New Year tips

Tis the season to reduce, reuse and recycle! 

 IMG_9111Local resident and waste warrior Karen Murphy shares her ideas on how to fill the holiday season with thoughtful gifts, delicious food and memory making.  It’s the perfect gift for Planet Earth!

  • I love the giving of experiences and there are vouchers and memberships for every age and taste such as beauty and wellbeing vouchers, theatre tickets or movie passes.
  • When it comes to buying gifts, consider supporting a local producer or buying a unique handmade item from a local market or school fete.
  • These days it’s easier than ever to source zero waste gifts like re-usable coffee cups for on the go, stylish drink bottles, lunch wraps or grab some re-usable silicone straws and recycled paper pencils for kid’s stockings.
  • In my family, rather than buy adult gifts we play a Kris Kringle game. This year, the rule is that all gifts have to come from an op shop.
  • To decorate our table, I have made fabric bon bons. I  think bon bons are one of the most wasteful Christmas purchases, with their excessive packaging and cheap contents that typically end up in landfill.  If you don’t sew, create a craft activity for the kids and make recycled paper bon bons  from their artwork, the grandparents will love them.Bon bon napkin Xmas bon bon
  • When you’re out and about during the holidays, plan your trips to minimise waste and overloading public bins. Take water and snacks, pack re-usable coffee cups, cutlery and straws and if there are no recycling or organic bins where you are, take them home to your bins so they don’t end up in landfill.
  • Christmas is a time when we consume and waste a lot more food. Use a kitchen caddy (available from Council) to collect all your unwanted food and food scraps before placing them in the green lidded Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) bin.
Sustainable New Year resolutions
  • Start shopping at a bulk food store using BYO containers, fabric or paper bags.
  • Avoid plastic when purchasing fruit and vegetables.
  • Make meat shopping zero waste by asking your butcher to wrap meat in compostable bags and avoid/minimise pre-packed items in polystyrene trays.
Give your recycling a health check.
  • Go online to East Waste’s and read their recycling tips, also taking note of the things that are not accepted.  You could improve your recycling efforts and collect something you haven’t done previously such as valuable aluminium and other metals for example.
Take the ‘Less to Landfill Challenge’
  • Put your landfill bin out for collection only when it is either full or smelly.  See how long your household can go and if you can extend the period each time.
Spread the word.
  • Chat with neighbours about redirecting food waste via Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) bin and what other changes your household has done to reduce landfill and recycling waste.