Christmas is a time of merriment spent in the company of family and friends, enjoyed over traditional festive fare like ham, prawns, pudding, pavlova and mince pies. And every time we celebrate Christmas, we also end up with lots of food waste, as well as plastic (including Styrofoam) and paper refuse.

With what we already know about global warming and the recently concluded Conference of Parties or COP26 in Glasgow further highlighting the climate crisis, it makes sense to want to have a green Christmas.

Here are things you can do to spruce up your Inner West property for the yuletide season in an eco-friendly manner. These include certain sustainable practices you could try to celebrate a greener – if not a 100% green – Christmas.

  1. Use recyclable cutlery and plates

If you’re planning to hold a barbecue or a big outdoor party, you may need to resort to using disposable plates and cutlery. If so, then look for recyclable alternatives like bamboo cutlery and palm leaf plates.

But if your party is small or limited to a few people, use your chinaware, glassware and flatware. Washing the dishes may seem like an extra chore, but it also means you’ll be reducing waste.

  1. Make your own decorations or repair old Christmas décor

Instead of buying all-new decorations for your Christmas tree and home, why not make your own?

There are so many DIY and hobby-oriented websites like Pinterest you can check for inspiration in creating homemade décor. There are also YouTube videos and tutorials on how to make wreaths, tinsel, Christmas balls, ribbons and other decorative items by making use of recyclable materials. You could also fix old décor so it looks good as new.

  1. Use solar-powered outdoor Christmas lights

Luckily for us, there are now solar-powered LED Christmas lights you can wrap around trees and use to light up the exterior of your home at night. With solar LED lights, you’ll be adding to the festive atmosphere without depending on fossil fuel-powered energy.

  1. Decorate a real Christmas tree

While fake plastic Christmas trees can be used every year, there’s no real use for them when they start falling apart, and they’re still plastic. Using fresh Christmas trees may seem like a great alternative, but it also means the supplier had to cut a tree for you to have one at home. While these trees are farmed, a tree is still a tree; we should be planting more, not cutting them.

The best option would be to use a potted tree that you can decorate for Christmas and maintain for the rest of the year. You could also decorate a tree in your yard as your Christmas tree.

  1. Practise sustainable gift-giving

Instead of giving stuff and toys that could be left in a forgotten corner just a few days after Christmas, why not give away service or experience vouchers? Examples of these would be massages, mani-pedis, salon, gardening or lawn mowing services, as well as museum, theatre, movie or amusement park tickets.

You could also give away plants, potted herbs, handcrafted jewellery, reusable everything and other eco-friendly gifts sourced from local businesses. Either way, you’ll be giving away sustainable presents whilst also supporting the local economy.

As you see, having a green Christmas is entirely doable and very affordable. We hope our tips help you to have a happy and eco-friendly Inner West Christmas.

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