“As Christmas and New Year quickly roll around, many Australians are preparing to catch up with friends and family to celebrate this special time of year,” Nadia Steele from Biotuff says. “Sadly, however, our rubbish generation over this period can be rather breathtaking.”
From disposable plastic cups, cutlery, and plates at the celebratory BBQ, to keeping food fresh with endless traditional plastic cling wrap – many Australians tend to have a ‘throw away’ mindset during the silly season.
“The great news is with a little thought and preparation, you can still enjoy the festive season without having a big impact on our environment and emissions,” Steele says. “Looking for biodegradable and compostable plastic alternatives is certainly one way households can cut down on their plastic consumption over Christmas.”
Other Tips Include:
Use Paper Plates Instead of Plastic.
“Remember to check the quality of your paper plates and always dispose of them correctly. Some are coated in waxy materials that cannot be recycled or broken down in landfill and can be just as bad for the environment as plastic. Heavily soiled paper plates can also not be recycled– cue the tomato sauce!”
Use Biodegradable & Compostable Plastic Products
“Many great products are available today that allow for compostable and biodegradable options with your sandwich bags, plastic wrap, and more. But it is vital to check. Not all bioplastics are created equally, meaning they are not compostable or easily broken down. They may be made from bio and natural products, but are still not 100% environmentally friendly.”
Wash Those Dishes!
“Instead of taking disposable plastics or containers to the next BBQ, dig out all those old plates and cutlery and have a special selection of BBQ crockery. It may mean a few more plates to wash, but the environment will love you for it.”
Consider Green Presents
“Encourage family members to start their own kitchen waste compost with a compact compost bin. But don’t forget the kids! Creating an organic raised garden bed or even using colourful pots can ignite the gardener in your child, allowing them to grow their own vegetables and use their own compost.”
“Also consider supporting biodegradable and compostable suppliers and producers – you’ll be surprised at what you can purchase, even many top sunglass designers are now bio-friendly.”
Stop Buying Reusable Tote/Shopping Bags
“These are now also filling up our landfills. Consider purchasing tote bags for shopping that are compostable and biodegradable, and get into a good routine of always popping them back in the car after shopping.”
Wrap it Right
“Purchase recyclable, biodegradable Christmas wrapping paper instead of the coated traditional variety. Also consider utilising compostable postage bags instead of the traditional plastic coated ones”
With some consideration, you can make your festive season easy, carefree, and sustainable. Making small changes can have a significant impact on the environment.
“Getting the children involved and having open discussions on how our everyday lives impact the environment is a great step forward in helping protect the earth for generations to come,” Steele says.
“From encouraging your children to garden and the importance of composting to collecting kitchen waste and recycling correctly, and switching to biodegradable, compostable plastic options. With a little thought we can all make a positive impact this Christmas.”