Sustainable Christmas tips

Seasons Greetings from the Marine Park Authority

The Great Barrier Reef really is closer than you think and what you do at home, work or school can affect the Reef.

While the holiday season is a time for celebration and relaxation, you can still think about how to reduce your environmental and carbon footprint at this busy time of year.

At Christmas time you can do your bit to help the Reef with these simple tips:
  • Buying local food not only supports your community but also means your food hasn’t been transported across the country (or even the world) to get to your plate. Avoid excess plastic packaging, and plan ahead so you can store all your leftovers from Christmas lunch.
  • Have you thought about the environmental footprint of your gift? Will it be discarded quickly or is it single-use? Does it contain a lot of plastic? Does it require disposable batteries? If you do buy gifts, be sure to wrap them in recycled paper, newspaper, or even last year’s wrapping paper!
  • If you are lucky enough to receive some new clothes for Christmas, don’t just throw out the old stuff. You can donate your clothes to a charity shop, or  re-purpose clothes for handmade Christmas decorations.
  • Christmas decorations are re-used every year, but it’s always tempting to add something new to the display. Instead of buying new decorations consider making your own using up-cycled materials made from recycled cardboard and paper.
  • Reduce your energy consumption by turning off Christmas lights when they aren’t needed, and if you want to purchase some, consider LED bulbs or lights that are solar powered.
  • Batteries come out in force at Christmas, but once they are flat they never biodegrade and are hard to recycle. Use rechargeable batteries, or buy toys and products that don’t require them at all.  
  • For a sparkling, yet sustainable, Christmas ambience use soy, beeswax or vegetable-based wax candles instead of paraffin candles that come from petroleum and produce smoke.