This summer, Keep Australia Beautiful is asking all Australians to spare a thought for the environment. During the festive period, we embark on a $46.7 billion* splurge on food, drink, gifts and partying.
This also means that household waste increases by up to 30%**, as thousands of tons of wrapping paper, decorations, food, bottles and unwanted gifts are thrown out.
Street litter also rises as Australians party through December and attend outdoor events at parks and on the beach.
Christmas may come only once a year, but when it does it can create one very big mess. It doesn’t need to be that way though. There are lots of simple and easy ways to cut your waste at Christmas and keep litter off our streets.
Keep it clean and green this holiday season:
- Aussies love a drink or two at Christmas, but please remember to dispose of unwanted cans and bottles carefully. Both should go in recycling bins.
- If you’re enjoying carols in the park, please picnic responsibly. Paper plates may be easy to clean up, but reusable plastic plates won’t be blown away in the wind.
- Christmas means leftovers, but food waste should only go into green bins if your local council approves it. Otherwise, give scraps to your pets (if safe to do so) or get a compost bin.
- Consider buying low-waste presents such as concert tickets and gift cards.
- If you really want to wrap gifts, why not use a cute tea towel, scarf or cloth shopping bag that can be enjoyed long after Christmas has passed?
- Remember, Christmas cards and wrapping paper are recyclable, so make sure they go in the correct bin.
- If you buy a real Christmas tree, it can be turned into mulch or chopped and placed in a green waste bin. Live potted trees can be replanted.
- Unwanted gifts should be taken to a charity shop – not dumped in the bin.
- If you are giving a gift that needs batteries, include rechargeable ones with it.
- If you get a new TV, printer, computer or mobile, sell your old electronic goods online. Alternatively, most council recycling centres will take these items.
*Australian Retailers’ Association and Roy Morgan Research report, Australians to spend $46.7billion this Christmas, November 10 2015.