Mulch your Christmas tree and use it on the garden or place it in your green bin
Christmas is a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family and take a well earned break.
It is also perfect for thinking about reducing our environmental footprint and saving electricity.
Carbon pollution generated from rubbish sent to landfill can be reduced by buying recycled paper, recycling packaging waste, buying only what you need and composting organic waste at home.
Other tips for a green Christmas include:
- Set your Christmas lights on a timer and turn them off at midnight or when you go to bed.
- Use solar powered lights to lower your power bill and emissions. The lights can switch on automatically at dusk and run for more than eight hours when charged by a full day's sun.
- When buying new lights, check how many watts each system uses and choose the lowest wattage.
- Replace incandescent party lights with LED bulbs. They have a much longer life span and are more durable.
Packaging, cards and wrapping
- Avoid buying presents that are heavily wrapped or packaged.
- Take your reusable bags shopping and say no to plastic bags.
- Save wrapping paper and reuse it.
- Give calico bags for Christmas to replace plastic shopping bags. Calico bags also make environmentally friendly Christmas stockings.
- Recycle your Christmas cards and all the cardboard packaging. Most kerbside recycling services now accept these products.
- Remember that tinsel is not recyclable, so pack it away for next year.
Food and waste
Shop for locally-grown produce for your Christmas lunch
- Shop for locally-grown produce for your Christmas lunch to reduce carbon pollution.
- Buy a worm farm to dispose of your Christmas food scraps.
- Take food in re-useable containers when picnicking at parks and beaches and always take your rubbish home with you.
- Mulch your Christmas tree and use it on the garden to save water.
- Enjoy the long days of summer by walking and getting on your bike.
- Save time looking for parking by taking a shuttle or public bus to the shops.
- If you are heading off on a road trip during the holidays, follow these simple driving tips and save up to 20 per cent fuel:
- keep your tyres pumped to their correct pressure
- drive smoothly and at a moderate speed
- turn off the engine when waiting – it takes less fuel to restart your car
- only use air conditioning when you need it
- avoid carrying unnecessary weight
- on hot days refuel your car in the evening or during a cooler part of the day to help reduce air pollution from petrol evaporation.
- If you are in Sydney's Greater Metropolitan Region, take public transport to major events like the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, the cricket, New Year's Eve celebrations and the Sydney Festival.
Planet Ark's Festive Recycling website has more ideas on how to have a clean and green Christmas.
During the break, re-connect with nature with NSW National Parks or at one of the three Botanic Gardens in Sydney's Greater Metropolitan Region.
Visit Our Environment – it's a living thing for more ways to live sustainably at home, work and play.