Celebrate without waste

Planning end of year celebrations and holidays can be overwhelming and result in over purchasing, expensive or wasteful purchasing. To help you celebrate without waste we have brought together some ideas on how to entertain, shop and travel in ways that can save you money and step you closer to zero waste. There are also some great videos from our community that may inspire you to shop, plan or think a little differently this year.

The best way to reduce your waste is to avoid it in the first place. Use what you have, borrow or swap, choose second hand, make and create. If you really must buy something new, go for long lasting and sustainably produced.

Entertaining tips

  • Avoid single use where possible - use cloth table coverings and real glasses.
  • Consider renting, borrowing or buying second hand, plates, bowls and glasses.
  • Ask your guests to bring containers with them so that they can take away leftovers.
  • Plan to have space in your fridge and freezer for any other leftovers.
  • Remember to have a 'Return and Earn' bucket to collect bottles and cans. Money from Return and Earn machines can go into your pocket or to a charity of your choice.

Choosing second hand goods with The Bower in Marrickville

Using pineapple skins to make syrup with Alex from Cornersmith

Borrowing vintage clothes or other supplies with Ali from Bell Street

Gifting tips

  • Give living gifts like plants or trees. You could even propagate one of your own plants into many as a cost effective gift.
  • Give an experience, create your own, buy a ticket to an event, or a gift card to a favourite restaurant.
  • Consider wrapping gifts in second hand scarves, reusable fabric or pillow cases.
  • Make your gifts, put those new skills you gained in lock down to good use.
  • When making your gift list, consider regifting, buying local or from sustainable suppliers, choosing quality of quantity.

Making your own body scrubs with Kirsty from Parva: Little Things

Vintage gifting tips from sustainable stylist Joanne Gambale

Buying sustainable gifts with Katherine from Asiki (formerly the Ekologi store)

Travelling tips

  • Carry cutlery basics at all times to avoid needing plastic forks, spoons or knives.
  • Bring 1-2 water refillable water bottles for each person.
  • Prepare your own food to avoid packaging and meal plan if you are in self catered accommodation.
  • Take containers with you to store leftovers.
  • Bring your reusable shopping bags.

Other tips

Reducing and reusing suggestions from Madeleine of Our Simple Gestures

The benefits of composting with local Summer Hill resident Jamie

Second hand thinking with Kirsten from Reverse Garbage

Gifting plants for Christmas with Emma Daniell from the Green Living Centre

Making your own Christmas cards from packaging with Michelle from You Are Brave

Using Furoshiki to wrap your presents with Yoshie from Musubi

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Page last updated: 09 Dec 2021