Switch your Christmas

David and Gabby Locke and the Entire Tech team receiving their Switched on Business Award from City of Armadale Mayor and Chairperson of the South East Regional Energy Group, Ruth Butterfield. They were joined by Cr Aaron Adams (City of Gosnells / SEREG delegate), City of Melville Business Development Advisor Stuart Tomlinson and Sustainability Engagement Officer Jess Sutherland. Photo credit: City of Melville. 

“Almost 99 percent of everything we buy becomes waste within six weeks of purchase. Every wheelie bin of waste we produce from our home, equates to 70 wheelie bins of waste from the mining, manufacture, production and sale of the materials in that bin” (Environment Victoria)

This is never truer than at Christmas, when we throw out wrapping paper, ribbon, styrofoam packing and endless sticky tape. None of these items are recyclable. Here are some hints to Switch your Christmas for a simpler, more joyful and environmentally friendly day.

Wrapping paper

Christmas wrap often contains plastic and glitter which means it can’t be recycled. Swap wrapping for Christmas stockings, Santa sacks, wrapping presents in tea-towels or get creative!

Green gifts

Gift buying can be one of the most stressful and costly parts of Christmas. All those presents and packaging create carbon emissions, pollution and landfill in their manufacture and disposal. Try a Secret Santa to reduce the number of gifts or even agree to give up gift giving and just enjoy the day. 

Alternatively you could consider gifts with a lower environmental impact such as tickets to an event or experiences like a massage. If you are going to buy presents, look for locally made, second hand, gifts made from recycled materials and gifts that don’t require batteries.


Clean out the Christmas decorations and donate the pieces you don’t love for others to use. 

Ask a friend if you can borrow or swap your house decorations, both of you can have a fresh look for the season!

Use what you have – use your regular table settings with a few Christmas touches.

Make recycled, homemade decorations and avoid plastic such as tinsel.  

Cut your Christmas kitchen waste

Australians throw away four million tonnes of food every year. When you discard food, you are also discarding all of the water, fertiliser, fuel and energy that were used to get that food to your plate. Christmas can be a time when we over cater and end up throwing away food. Check out our top ten tips to cut kitchen waste here.