As we head into the festive season many of us turn our attention towards Christmas preparation, but have you considered how your Xmas celebrations may impact your carbon footprint?

Having an eco friendly Christmas doesn’t have to be hard. By making small changes, you can seriously reduce your environmental impact during the silly season.

In Australia, our waste increases by about 30% at Christmas. It’s crazy to think that at Christmastime we use more than 150,000km of wrapping paper in Australia – that’s enough to wrap around the center of the Earth 4 times! At Cola Solar we are always looking for ways to reduce, re-use and recycle and Christmas is no exception! That’s why we have compiled our list of top tips to reduce your environmental impact this silly season.

Gift Wrapping

Not all wrapping papers are created equal! Brown paper is an excellent choice to wrap your gifts in this season. It’s recyclable and also gives a charming, vintage look to your gifts. Glittery, shiny and iridescent wrapping paper looks flashy, but it isn’t able to be recycled and ends up in landfill.

Try wrapping your gifts in a scarf or piece of fabric. The Furoshiki Silk Gift Wrap method is a traditional Japanese technique of wrapping gifts or goods in decorative silk fabric. This gift wrapping looks elegant and the recipient of your gift will also get to keep a beautiful silk scarf. Two gifts in one!

Decorations

Many Christmas decorations are made from plastics. Can you guess the number one culprit of decorative plastic waste? Tinsel! How many times do you find yourself picking up little bits of scattered tinsel during the festive season? Each of those small pieces of tinsel are bits of plastic that end up in landfill or in our water ways.

Instead of decorating with plastic tinsel get creative and try making a recyclable or compostable garland out of popcorn, wooden beads, origami shapes or gingerbread biscuits.

With thousands of solar-powered Christmas light options now on the market it is a no-brainer to harness the power of the warm Australian summer sun to brighten up your home this Christmas! If you do have plug-in Christmas lights make sure you turn your lights off when you go to bed and when you are not home to conserve energy.

Feasting

Whether it’s Christmas breakfast, dinner or lunch, sharing a delicious meal with loved ones is one of the seasons greatest joys.

Avoid single-use napkins, straws and cutlery and instead opt for reusable cloth napkins and steel straws and cutlery – or if you’re feeling particularly festive, break out the good silverware. Making your own table decorations instead of using plastic ornaments is another great option – holly and pine look fantastically festive!

Those are our top tips for having an eco friendly Christmas this year. From all of us at Cola Solar, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!

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