10 Ways to have a “Green” Christmas

By Carolyn Wall, Updated December 19, 2013, 9:00 am

In Australia we don’t have the opportunity to enjoy a White Christmas

But we can all enjoy a “Green” Christmas by either creating or purchasing eco-friendly decorations or by simply behaving in a sustainable way.

Here are our 10 top tips for being eco-friendly this Christmas season:

1. Christmas lights
When purchasing outdoor Christmas lights the best lights for the environment and your electricity bill are Solar LED. You can find them in most retail outlets or there are a number of online stores selling them at great prices.

2. Wrapping paper
Instead of wasting loads of money on wrapping paper, save your children’s artwork throughout the year and wrap your presents in them. The kids will love seeing their masterpieces being handed around the family.

3. Make a list
Make your list and check it twice... Make sure you make a list of all the people you would like to give gifts to, this will reduce the amount of spontaneous purchases. You will also have the time to research online for the cheapest and best options or purchase.

4. Shop online
Rather than driving around shopping centre car parks for hours wasting petrol and time, then having to plough your way through the hordes of people in the shops, consider shopping online. You can do it from the comfort of your own home and most of Australia’s leading retailers have great deals for their online customers. Just make sure you allow enough time for delivery of those special gifts.

Related: Why organic costs more

5. Bye-bye bon-bons
Lose the Crackers (Bon Bons), they use a lot of useless packaging and often cannot be recycled. If you really must continue with this Christmas tradition, try making your own out of recycled products from around the house. There are some great tips to be found at This is a great way to use your toilet rolls, left over wrapping paper and children’s artworks. You can pack them with a chocolate which is better than those useless plastic toys.

6. Durable decorations
When buying decorations, ensure you buy good quality or make them yourself from reusable products you find around your home. Good quality decorations may cost more initially but they won’t need to be replaced as often as their cheaper versions

7. Christmas tree choices
Whilst artificial Christmas Trees last longer, the plastic used to make them can be quite toxic to our environment. Consider purchasing a real Christmas Tree or better yet substitute with an Australian native such as Adenanthos sericeus. You can keep it in a pot through the festive season than plant it in your backyard at the end of December. Real trees also support tree planting programs which soak up carbon from our atmosphere.

8. Green gifts
Consider only purchasing Eco Friendly gifts, there are a number of company’s who specialise in this area. Check out or an Australian owned company called The products available are often made from recycled goods or are made only of sustainable products and also contain very little packaging.

Other Green Gift Ideas are:
- Native plants
- Massage gift certificate
- Movie tickets
- Restaurant voucher
- Organic or fair-trade chocolates or coffee beans
- Home-made treats like Christmas cake or shortbread biscuits
- Bottle of organic wine
- Organic and biodegradable personal products such as hand creams, shampoo, conditioner and cosmetics – Try or
- Green gadgets like wind-up torch or radio, energy-smart thermometer or solar phone charger
- A non-disposable razor

9. DIY cards and gifts
Make your own cards and presents – these gifts are more likely to be treasured, extending their life cycle. You can also reuse last year’s cards by making gift labels for this year.

Related: 50 Ways to reduce your power bill

10. e-cards
Instead of sending traditional Christmas Cards to family and friends, which cost both money and resources, reduce your carbon footprint by sending an e-card with a personal message.

During the festive season, even if we do our best to be sustainable, we always consume more and end up with a lot more rubbish. Remember the three “R’s” this Christmas, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Think twice before buying; ask yourself do you really need it and what do you do with it when you are finished?

Not only will the environment thank you but so will your hip pocket, and remember to have yourself a very Merry “Green” Christmas!

Source: For more great “Green” ideas for your home download GreenBizCheck's free Home Checklist, with over 37 pages of eco-friendly tips and advice which will reduce your carbon footprint and can help you save money around your home.

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