Take action for conservation this Christmas by making gift and food choices that don’t cost the earth!
When buying a gift, consider the quality and if the recipient really needs the gift – or will it just be land fill in a few months time?
Think about giving an experience. Give a night or two of babysitting or a day or two of gardening services. A Zoo Parent or a Zoo Friend membership or a gift voucher to Roar and Snore are ideal green gifts, easy to purchase and they don't need to be wrapped!
When buying for Christmas feasts, buy locally produced food and drinks and, especially try to buy sustainable seafood. This year try something different with your friends and families and eat one of these better choices – calamari, bream, whiting or sardines.
Consider a gift voucher or make a donation to the Taronga Foundation or another charity as a meaningful gift.
Choose a gift that keeps on giving such as a herb garden gift box or fruit'n'vege seeds to inspire a backyard garden.
Buy local food, drinks and gifts to save on transport impacts.
Choose LED Christmas lights which last 10 times longer are three times brighter, reduce energy use by 90 percent and are safer because they don’t heat up.
If buying an appliance for a loved-one be sure that it has a good energy-use or water-use rating.
Give a bicycle as a gift – but only if you think it will get good use!
Buy an online magazine subscription, rather than a print copy.
Send an e-Christmas card or environmentally friendly cards made from recycled paper.
Rethink: rent or buy a living tree to decorate and enjoy year after year.
Reduce: buy products with the least packaging and always say ‘no’ to plastic bags.
Buy or make a funky Santa sack to avoid using wrapping paper.
Reuse: Wrap presents using your children’s (surplus!) artwork from school or use paper from previous years.
Choose: reusable cutlery and crockery instead of disposables at the Christmas picnic.
Recycle: Do your best to recycle cards, paper and packaging – even leftover food can be composted. A simple idea with an Australian twist is to use a dried eucalyptus leaves as your present name cards. You can easily punch a hole in the leaf and attach to your present with a piece of thread.
Turn your live Christmas tree into mulch after Christmas by talking to your local council about pick ups or green waste collection.
Buy local native plants as gifts.
What about something for the garden where you can save and create animal habitat by buying a local native plant to encourage birds into the garden. Check out Birds in Backyards for more details.
A bird bath would be a terrific gift or a voucher for an waterwise irrigation system or worm farm.