How green will your Christmas be?

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Council, Sustainability & Environment

During the last few hours of the festive season rush, our impact on the environment might not be at the forefront of our minds, but in light of the current bush fires, wiley weather patterns and the prospect of over consumption at the Christmas table, it's a good time to reflect and do what we can to make a difference.

Christmas time seems to speed life up and all those finely tuned eco-friendly habits you've mastered through the year, can get sidelined in the chaos of the season.

Our environmental footprint involves more than just pollution and resources, it also measures our well-being and sense of how we act in the world.

At the Green Santa space at the Best Gift Market, which we held in November, we asked the question: How will you cap your environmental footprint this Christmas?

The following five suggestions were given as a way to be more sustainable at Christmas and each person was given the opportunity to vote for their favourite:

There were some surprising and some not-so-surprising results. From our five questions, the top idea was to get creative with gift wrapping, the second was to re-gift and the third was to give a gift from (or to) a charity.

How can you put these into practice?

If you have last minute gifts to wrap, think about using newspaper and string or cloth and ribbon. Kids drawings can make great, colourful gift wrapping. Or, you can choose not to wrap the gift at all, but fold it in an interesting manner and tie it with string (this works well for an item of clothing or beach towel).

Although re-gifting can seem a bit disrespectful to the person who gave you the gift, if your intentions are right, its a positive way to save the earth's resources and money. A good way to start the trend? When you give a gift yourself, say to the recipient, I'm happy for you to re-gift this if you won't use it. Re-gifting to a charity is also a good way to give back.

The third most popular way to be more sustainable this Christmas was giving a gift from (or to) a charity. Giving a goat ( and chickens) or adopting a koala is a great way to empower vulnerable communities across our region. There's also charities closer to home that you can explore including our rural fire services and drought impacted farming communities.

Whatever you do this Christmas, we hope you have a happy, safe and healthy holiday.

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