As we move into Spring and Summer here in Australia, many holidays are yet to be celebrated, from Halloween, New Year’s, Christmas and many more that fall over the summer season. Below is a list of eco-friendly holiday season ideas to make the season better for the environment, while still keeping them festive and fun for the whole family.
With all the grandiose and spooky decorations and costumes, Halloween can easily be made more eco-friendly. Here are some ideas for this holiday:
- Carve pumpkins – and use up their insides creatively! Pumpkin seeds and innards can be used in recipes or composted instead of thrown out.
- Turn old, unworn clothing into halloween costumes. With a pair of scissors, some fabric paint, cardboard, make-up and creativity, Halloween costumes can be made without buying anything new. This is a really great way for us to make Halloween more eco-friendly, as buying new costumes every year is costly and can lead to more plastic and discarded clothes ending up in landfills.
- Trick or treating: Walk around your neighbourhood with the kids instead of driving them around, to reduce carbon emissions.
Christmas can end up pretty wasteful and can lead to overconsumption if we aren’t thoughtful and intentional about it. Here are some eco-friendly ideas for Christmas:
- Find Christmas presents and decorations at op shops, vintage or second-hand stores
- Make DIY gifts out of found objects and materials
- Send digital Christmas cards instead of paper ones
- Donate, re-gift or return unwanted presents from your friends and family instead of throwing them away
- Compost your Christmas Day leftovers (or eat them first!)
- Recycle or reuse wrapping paper where possible
- Walk or bike around to see Christmas lights and sights
New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day
- Use biodegradable confetti and glitter
- Send out digital invitations to save paper
- Instead of using plastic plates and cutlery – ask your guests to bring their most eclectic or interesting glassware and plates
- Give eco-friendly party favours out
- Borrow or thrift your new year’s outfit
- Avoid buying plastic year-specific decorations that you can’t use in the following years
- Reuse shiny holiday wrapping paper and turn them into garlands or stick on stars
Eco-friendly Ideas For General Summer Days
Whilst not an actual, recognised international holiday, a good summer’s day can often be a holiday shared by us all. Here are some ideas to make your summer’s day eco-friendly and fun.
- Pick eco-friendly activities: Snorkelling, surfing, hiking, biking and camping are all great examples.
- Leave not a trace of rubbish or litter behind on the beach or buy the lake – you could even get the family involved in picking up any rubbish others have left behind or start your own coastal clean-up in your community
- Get into gardening, and get your whole family involved
- Swap single-use water balloons for reusable ones, or use water-soaked sponges instead!
With a bit of thought and creativity, there’s many ways to make holidays and summer activities more sustainable and environmentally friendly. These are not the limits of what we can do, but just a list to get you inspired so that you can come up with your own eco-friendly holiday season ideas and pass them on to those in your community.