Would you like to reduce the amount of rubbish you generate this festive season, but you’re not sure where to start?
We asked Katie Traill and Meg Odgers from Towards Zero Waste Geelong to share their tips for a zero-waste Christmas in 2018.
Katie Traill and Meg Odgers are friends with a passion for environmental advocacy and waste reduction.
The duo founded Towards Zero Waste Geelong following the success of their zero waste workshops earlier this year. The sold-out workshops confirmed that Geelong is brimming with people from all generations who are excited and driven to improve the state of our planet.
Katie and Meg quickly established the Towards Zero Waste Geelong Facebook and Instagram pages to connect these people and provide an open and accepting space for questions, comments and ideas on waste reduction.
Earlier this month, Katie and Meg hosted a Zero Waste Xmas workshop (another sell-out) where they shared helpful hints and gift ideas on how to reduce waste significantly, without losing the meaning behind the season.
- Make memories
Go for an experience like tickets or passes to workshops, classes, performances or lessons, vouchers to their favourite local café, therapist or wellness hub.
- Receiving a useful gift
Where possible, tell people what you want or need to avoid presents that are wasteful.
- Give a helping hand
Gift your time or skills and offer to help with something you’re good at eg gardening, lawn mowing, preparing meals, sewing, handiwork etc.
- Make your own
Prepare homemade plant-based foods and attach the recipe.
- Shop smart and in season
Pre-order food from your local green grocer or farmer to get the freshest seasonal produce for your lunch or dinner celebrations.
- Avoid plastics
Refuse plastic bags and packaging. When buying online, request “no plastic where possible please” in the comments box.
- Buy pre-loved
Visit op shops to find unique gifts or re-gift items that you no longer need.
- A long lasting tree
Buy a real Christmas tree in a pot and care for it throughout the year to avoid a plastic or forestry tree.
When it comes to gift wrapping, think reusable and try Furoshiki, which uses fabric squares and traditional Japanese folding techniques. Complete your gift with a reusable gift card and envelope made by Geelong local, Lana L’Herault.
Local native flowers in red, yellow and green make an eye-catching centerpiece on the dinner table, while handmade fabric napkins can be used year after year.
If you’re looking for low-waste options this Christmas, start with these recommendations from Katie and Meg:
Katie Traill - Towards Zero Waste Geelong
The silly season is full of opportunity to be excessive and wasteful, but there are so many opportunities to share, show love and enjoy the holiday.
By avoiding single-use items, preparing more plant-based dishes for shared meals and decorating with compostable or reusable things, you can create a fantastic zero-waste setting.