This is something I've written to distribute to the community to help people think about the consequences of their Christmas purchases. Feel free to circulate.
HAVE A BRIGHT GREEN CHRISTMAS
Celebrating Christmas need not cost the Earth.
Ideas to help you celebrate Christmas without damaging the environment or hurting your wallet.
* Make your own gifts.
* Give things that can be consumed, like art and crafts supplies, or food.
* Ask for “to do” presents, if asked, rather than something that takes up space, eg., tickets to a show or admission to the zoo or a museum, or to classes that you want to attend.
* Give a “gift of your time”, offering to do a special job for your friend or family member.
* Don't buy gifts that are over packaged and create rubbish just by being opened. Every square mile of the ocean currently contains around 46,000 pieces of plastic and almost 50% of landfill consists of packaging, most of which is unnecessary.
* Buy ‘pre loved’ - search your op shops & garage sales. It is fun, the goods are often high quality and you can find something individual. Everything you buy new uses resources (oil, coal, water etc) to be made, packaged and transported. Did you know that for every $100 spent on new clothing about 70kg of greenhouse pollution is generated?
* Give donations to organisations that really help people. TEAR Australia , World Vision Smiles, Oxfam Unwrapped or Women for Women International – all have websites for you to further explore. A perfect gift for the person who already has everything.
* Buy gifts from organisations that help people and animals, like Oxfam, The Wilderness Society, Australian Conservation Foundation, Landcare or Greenpeace. Better still, buy a gift membership to support these organisations.
* How about a worm farm or compost bin as a gift idea? About 37% of waste in landfill is food scraps, which, in landfill, creates methane, a greenhouse gas. Better to put your food scraps in a compost bin or wormfarm. Some chickens for the backyard would make a great gift for your family and they will keep on giving with fresh eggs everyday!
* Buy a tree to plant, or grow some herbs or vegetable plants and give them as gifts.
* Don't buy unnecessary electrical appliances.
* Give rechargeable batteries if giving a gift requiring batteries. Buy a solar recharger.
* Check out these sites for funky, fairtrade, environmentally friendly gifts: www.biome,com.au, www.ecoshop.com.au, www.tribesandnations.com.au, www.todae.com.au, www.globalconduct.com.au, www.thetradingcircle.com.au
* If you don't have enough plates and cutlery for Christmas lunch, see if you can borrow some. Otherwise buy strong plastic ones you can wash and reuse.
* Don't buy wrapping paper. Wrap your gifts in artwork you have made, in fabric you can reuse, or don't wrap it at all. Just tie a bow around it, and reuse the ribbon. Or put it in a bag that can be reused.
* Have family holidays that are gentle on the earth. See if you can consider eco-holidays, like camping, and avoid flying in aeroplanes or driving long distances.
* If you have Christmas lights, make sure they are LED Christmas lights. Ask if your household uses a Green Energy Provider.
* Some families have set themselves the challenge of spending no more than $100 on Christmas. That would get the creativity flowing!
Have a bright green Christmas!