Sustainable summer holiday waste tips

Last Updated : 15 Jan 2021
Flax At The Beach

The holiday season can be overwhelming, so let us try to make it easy for you to minimise your waste. Whether you’re headed to the beach or bach, or having the family round to your place, here’s some simple tips to avoid the stress of excess waste over the holidays.   

Zero waste gift-giving

Enjoy these sources of inspiration for your holiday gift-giving that don’t require you to make or bake anything.

The Kaipātiki project will plant a native tree for you in a reserve for only $10.

Rather than buy a toy once, why not give your child a membership to one of Auckland’s many toy libraries.

For the DIYer in your family, get them a subscription to the Auckland Library of Tools, so they’ll have access to everything they need for odd jobs and home improvement.

The Grey Lynn car boot market has unique holiday gifts. It’s on the Sunday before Christmas and the last Sunday of every month. Everything is second-hand, so you shop without growing your carbon footprint.

You can visit a community recycling centre for a one-of-a-kind treasures and holiday decorations. Most people simply drop by to find a surprise gem; that’s half the fun!

Zero waste parties

Ditch the balloons! Put a big ribbon with a bow on your mailbox instead. Unlike a balloon it won't pop, and you can use it year after year.

Avoid themed decorations. A lot of festive merchandise is single use, adds up to more spend than you planned for, and ends up in a landfill. Not to mention the labour and resources in the whole process. If you want a party theme, focus on a colour scheme and use materials you already have or can use again easily.

Entertain the kids. Consider re-useable options like fabric and ribbon for pass the parcel, instead of single use paper that will be in the recycling bin faster than the kids have finished their lollies. You can also think about a simple activity that uses recycled materials, like making your own fidget spinners.

Better party favours. Don’t waste time and money on goodie bags or extra stocking stuffers. Most of the “goodies” are plastic bits that end up in landfill. Instead, send your guests home with baked goods or leftovers. Or, if you need a party favour, consider giving everyone a tomato plant.

Simple reminders

Classic wrapping papers are all recyclable. Foil papers and hard to tear papers are probably made out of plastic, so those can’t be recycled.

The chefs from Love Food Hate Waste have shared these clever ideas for making something fresh from your leftover holiday meals.

Remember, your kerbside collection day might be impacted by the holiday schedule.

Lastly, once the decorations have all been stored away for next year, dispose of your Christmas tree properly by returning it to where you bought it, taking it to a transfer station, or turning it into compost.  

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