A present wrapped in paper with candy canes.

There a plenty of ways to be sustainable this Christmas.

19 December 2019

The festive season is here and we’ve put together a guide to ways you can stay safe and sustainable without feeling like the Grinch during December.

Shop sustainably

There are small changes you can make to your Christmas shopping plans that can have a big impact on the environment.

  • Take a reusable bag to fill with gifts.
  • Walk or ride to the shops. You can even carpool with friends and make a day of it.
  • Consider wrapping gifts in something unique like old comic books, recycled paper, scarves or scrap fabric.

Give the gift of an experience

Consider gifting your family and friends an experience this Christmas. Not only will this create exciting memories, but it will also prevent the likely alternative: novelty gifts ending up in landfill. Some great experiences include tours or passes for some of Canberra's attractions.

Reduce food waste

Cooking a big feast for the family this Christmas? Spare a few moments to think about how you can avoid food waste this year.

At Christmas, tonnes of wasted food ends up in landfill. With a few small steps, you can help reduce your food waste.

Make sure leftovers are refrigerated or frozen to enjoy in the days after Christmas, call a food rescue organisation like OzHarvest or Communities@Work’s Sustainable Food Rescue, or try using a compost bin or worm farm.

You might even consider giving a compost bin or worm farm to family and friends for Christmas.

Find more tips to reduce food waste at tccs.act.gov.au

Exercise your rights on returns, refunds and gift cards

It’s important to know your rights as a consumer before Christmas. To avoid issues, do your research, look for reviews online and support reputable brands.

Changes to laws in 2019 mean the expiry date for gift cards must be at least three years from purchase. Expiry dates must also be easy to see.

Learn more about your rights at act.gov.au/fairtrading

Use public transport

Consider taking the bus or light rail when travelling across Canberra this Christmas.We have late night and rapid services between major town centres on our seven-day network providing you with more options to get out and about over this period (and all year round!). Eat, drink, and be merry without the need to worry about a ride. Check out the holiday timetable at transport.act.gov.au

If you are driving, think about carpooling with family and friends to save on fuel.

Consider button battery and toy safety

There are reports of faulty or dangerous toys bought at Christmas every year. Inflatable pool toys, toys requiring button batteries and toys with loose small parts are some of the more common items that can pose risk to children.

Yong families should make sure to supervise children playing with toys over Christmas. Every week, a number of Australian children present to a hospital emergency department following exposure to button batteries, including ingestion and insertions.

If your child swallows a button battery you should take them straight to the ED.

For safety information on button batteries and toys visit health.act.gov.au.

Plan for a more sustainable 2020

There are many ways that you can be more sustainable in your day-to-day activities. In 2020, consider changing your routine by:

  • walking to the shops instead of driving,
  • planting native plants that can withstand the heat and dry weather in your garden, and
  • taking shorter showers.
All Canberra

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