Sustainable Christmas

As Christmas ramps up around us, the Palmerston North City Environmental Trust (PNCET) have some excellent suggestions for staying environmentally sustainable throughout the festivities. With some simple tips it's easy to keep a low impact on the environment while still enjoying the festive season.

If you have kids then it's a great opportunity to get them involved in making cards, gifts and decorations. Online sites such as Pinterest make finding ideas and tutorials a breeze. When decorating with fairy lights head for the solar-powered options to save on electricity for years to come.

When it comes to presents, Christmas is a great opportunity to shop locally for both food and gifts and we have a fantastic range of local suppliers for both. Presents don't always need to be big and expensive and sometimes home-baked or handmade gifts can mean a lot more. If you don't have the time to hand-make goods, online stores such as have a great range of well-priced, Kiwi-made gifts which are often customisable and unique. For those who have everything there's always the 'give-a-goat' type gifts from the likes of Oxfam.

Give a thought to upcycling beautiful magazine pages for wrapping paper, use recycled wrap from last Christmas or get the kids to paint newspaper in bright colours.

Studies on happiness tell us the best gifts are often 'experiences' as opposed to 'stuff'. So consider gift vouchers for swimming pools, massages, climbing walls, dance-classes, movies or restaurants to create memorable gifts. Create your own gift vouchers for kids to promise playground trips or to give them 60minutes of your uninterrupted time! For your long-suffering partner why not a voucher promising to fix that leaky tap or to clear that overgrown hedge. Having some fun around giving gifts can take away the stress of the season.

It's also a great time to have a declutter. Cleaning out unused tools, gizmos and clothes and giving these to opportunity shops can help repurpose items and help reduce the need for others to buy new.

Sustainability and Christmas CAN go together! The PNCET hope this inspires you to be conscious about your choices and wish you all a wonderful, sustainable festive season!