The 12 Do's of Christmas
Author: Zo Zhou
Christmas is a time of joy and festivities, but due to us eating more, drinking more, traveling more and buying more than at any time of the year, it is also the season when households generate extra waste. In fact, Aussies are tipped to spend an incredible $10 billion* on food this December. In saying that, would you then believe, 35% of what we send to landfill is actually food waste**, and that's even after the Boxing Day leftovers have been devoured!
To help Aussies in their mission of minimising their environmental footprint around the festive season, Planet Ark has produced The 12 DO's of Christmas 2012 - a fantastic resource which offers plenty of simple actions for reducing waste and saving money over the holiday period. Waste is one of the biggest environmental issues over Christmas, but just a few easy acts can make a big difference to your environmental impact and your budget.
There's certainly no denying that Christmas cuisine makes up a huge part of the holiday season, but preventing food waste doesn't have to be hard. One of the best things you can do is to take an extra few minutes to carefully plan your festive food, including making a shopping list, considering serving sizes and using all leftovers. You'd cringe to hear that Aussies actually generate an estimated 361kg of food waste per person annually, which equates to $239 each** - so cutting back at Christmas is a great place to start reducing, and it can even be beneficial for your budget.
Some of the other avoidable environmental impacts over the Christmas period include presents that never get used. Let's face it, it's disappointing to receive a present you immediately decided will be re-gifted, so be a sensible Santa this Christmas and consider taking someone shopping for their present, or giving experiences, gift vouchers or donations as a way of reducing the likelihood of a present sitting in a cupboard unused.
The 12 Do's of Christmas action sheet provides helpful ideas for addressing many wasteful practices around the festive period, including unnecessary levels of wrapping and contamination of recycling bins work Christmas parties and at home. You can also inspire others by entering a photo (or two) in our facebook competition showing your commitment ot the Do's, and be in the running to win over $400 in green vouchers and goodies.
The full version of the The 12 Do's of Christmas action sheet can be found on 12dos.planetark.org. The RecyclingNearYou website is a comprehensive household recycling directory which lists collection locations for e-waste items like batteries and mobile phones, and advice on how to recycle food scraps, foil trays, aluminium cans, custard cartons, Christmas trees, cards and wrapping paper.
Planet Ark's comprehensive household recycling directory, RecyclingNearYou.com.au, and the Recycling Hotline (1300 733 712) were established by Planet Ark in conjunction with Foundation Partner Sensis® and supported by Major Partner The Alcoa Foundation. Check it out over the holiday season for all your recycling enquiries and questions.
*IBISWorld Forecast for December 2012
**National Waste Report