Whether you’re a Christmas maniac or a bit of a Grinch, often it’s inevitable that you’ll end up at a Christmas/Hanukkah soiree of some sort. If your anything like me you’ll eat so much you’ll grow a food baby then become incapacitated for some time until the food coma passes. Charming isn’t it?
Christmas, and the festive period in general is meant to be a time of celebration, love, goodwill and peace on earth. We all know it’s a time of mass consumerism too and in environmental terms it really is the most earth-destroying feast of the year. In 2008 in Australia, a staggering $36.95 billion was spent on Christmas, with around a third of this ending up in landfill.
So when that obligatory “help your crazy Aunt Maude prepare Christmas dinner” is thrusted upon you, here are 3 simple, sustainable steps you could follow.
Maybe this sounds like a hassle but if you’re a Sydney sider, pop to this website- you’ll find that your local farmer's market is not actually so far away. Going the extra distance will probably save you time in the end as supermarkets get pretty mental in the lead up to the holiday period. If you some scientific convincing head to Friends of the Earth.
Swap the meat for a vege treat
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) “The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” You could swap the beef roast for a vegetable lasagne? Just put fake mistletoe on it keep in theme. I realise this is easier said than done, I’ll admit it, I eat meat! Sorry! So if you do go ahead with carnivourous indulgences, do your best to buy organic and free range.
Send an Ecard
If after all this, the thought of helping your estranged aunt with dinner is too traumatising why not send a “Merry Christmas and sorry I couldn’t make it” message with an Ecard. While these might make the art of old-fashioned letter writing irrelevant, eco-friendly e-cards are a great way to save resources and cashmoney on postage. Plus each time you send a card a donation is made to the World Wildlife Fund.
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Photo: Lara McKinley/OxfamAus