Photo: A hybrid tree made from a roadside weed and an artificial tree from the tip shop, by Kirsten Coates.

Sustainable gift guide for the festive season

By Sarah Wallis , Halve Waste Team, Albury Waste Management Centre

The best way to reduce your waste footprint this festive season is to slowdown, be thoughtful and buy less. Allow yourself the time to shop thoughtfully for each loved one. This might mean keeping a running list of gift ideas for friends and family. Keep a gift shopping list on your phone and add to it anytime a loved one mentions something they would like or need. This simple habit helps you stay organised and ensures that the receiver gets something they really want. If you are giving a gift to somebody you don’t know very well the adage ‘the way to someone’s heart is though their stomach’ rings true. A batch of home baked goodies, packaged in a vintage tin are a simple and waste free gift.

Our homes are constantly filling up with knickknacks, trinkets and gadgets, stuff we don’t need, stuff destined to end up in landfill. This year, think outside the box and give your family and friends an experience instead. Whether you are buying for a daredevil or a foodie, a budding artist, or a rev-head, it’s simple and easy to find the perfect experience to suit everybody on every budget.

If you’re strapped for cash, give the gift of your services. Give your partner a coupon for a candle lit dinner or better yet, a candle lit dinner on every full moon for a whole year. How romantic! Often, it’s not about the gift itself but about the reason behind it and the effort you put into it.

If you’re a treasure hunter go to your local op shop for Christmas gifts on a budget. Op shops are overflowing with vintage glass wear, jewellery, books, hats, kid’s toys, and clothes. Be conscious about what the item is made from, look for wooden toys and clothes made from natural fibres. Once you have found a gift for that special someone, why not wrap up your sustainable gift in a sustainable way.

Did you know that metallic and sparkly wrapping paper have a plastic coating and therefore cannot be recycled? Instead of buying rolls of thin, generic wrapping paper, use what you have at home. Try newspaper with recycled ribbon, loo roll wrappers from Who Gives a Crap, brown paper tied up with string or even your kid’s artwork. Fabric is a wonderful choice because it doesn’t tear and can be reused endlessly.  If you’d like to learn how to make fabric wrapping even more glamourous, try the Japanese art of Furoshiki.

From the team at Halve Waste, we hope you have a wonderful festive season and that this guide helps you to give sustainably this year. Merry Christmas.


Photo: A hybrid tree made from a roadside weed and an artificial tree from the tip shop, by Kirsten Coates.