I recycle at every opportunity, reuse wrapping paper and supplies and reduce waste by only buying what we need and using leftovers and sharing food with others. Would love to know your tips for recycle, reduce and reuse.


Posted anonymously, 11th December 2017


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  • We handmade 80% of our gifts and will be doing that every year. It made it so much more special and nobody got anything they didn’t like and avoided waste of store bought products.

    We use brown paper to wrap gifts, the kids decorate it with paintings and we wrap them in twine.

    Any coloured paper and ribbons received from others I put in the kids arts and crafts box to be reused. I recycled the paper/cardboard items, put any soft plastics that can be recycled in REDcycle bins and small hard plastics in an empty bottle to put in the recycle bin when it’s full. We had hardly any rubbish in our general waste bin. It was a beautiful Christmas.



  • We use only plain paper or recycled wrapping paper – glossy/laminated wrap and ribbons cannot be recycled; if we have extra guests, we buy second hand ceramic plates rather than plastic ones – as they will end up in the garbage too; we’ve ditched the tinsel for home-made paper decorations; we plan the meals well in advance so we don’t over cater on food meaning unnecessary waste; rather than buy presents that people don’t really want, we offer to donate to charity on their behalf; our Christmas cards are either sent electronically or are handmade photo cards which will be kept as keepsakes rather than tossed out.



  • buy your meat unpackaged, buy your vegetables the same.. minimise the use of wrapping on your food items..
    any artwork your children make keep it and use it as wrapping paper..



  • I also recycle all I can and avoid waste were possible. I reuse gift bags and if we receive gifts we don’t use I will use as gifts in the future. I also only buy practical gifts and try to buy things with minimal packaging or experiences rather than things.



  • I make sure I don’t buy too much food over Christmas and we eat what we grow. Presents these days are almost non-existent, as we give our produce to our family and friends in lieu, but charities are high on our list. Try to make sure we don’t waste anything and use all we grow one way or another. My freezer is bulging.



  • Another way of recycling is: any gift you receive you don’t like, put it away to give away for next year. And if kids get an overflow of presents or double presents, put it away for birthdays.



  • This year ahead I plan to think before I throw things in the rubbish bins. Recycled no 1 rubbish no 2 than greens in composs.



  • I start looking for gifts a few months before Xmas. I buy from the local buy sell swap pages – this year almost all of the kids presents are recycled gifts. Some of them are unwanted new in box gifts the sellers couldn’t find their receipts for, others are good condition second hand things. I don’t do stocking stuffers – I think it encourages a lot of land fill and the kids look at it for 2 mins then don’t touch it again. We do handmade Xmas for the adults at our Xmas party.



  • I use the kids artwork to make wrapping paper and cards, and re-use Christmas gift bags yearly if we are given them.

    Clothing, books and toys we no longer need are recycled by giving them to our local charities including one for homeless people and those escaping domestic violence.

    We have a green waste bag and a compost heap also for scraps, lawn clippings etc.

    I know I need to do more though, and it’s one of my resolutions for 2018!



  • I agree there is so much waste around this time before and after Christmas. Food is the worst so if there are leftovers we tend to have more meals from it which you need to be a bit creative. I reuse giftbags which are always good condition but not wrapping paper as most of the time they are ripped. My daughter makes scrapbooks and albums for her friends and buy items from bargain stores and is creative on that side of things. Unwanted presents should be either donated or given to someone suitable and every year we have a Kris Kringle with the inlaws which cuts down wastage and its more fun as well.



  • Yes the gift of experiences is great. I reward my kids in that way.



  • A great idea to give experiences instead of gifts!!



  • I know local schools and daycares often look for craft supplies such as the cardboard rolls from wrapping paper or baking paper, you could ask your local because sometimes they look for yoghurt containers etc too. Anyone who had chickens is usually on the hunt for egg cartons we collect ours and send them in one go (always very appreciated). Otherwise clothes worn out cut up for rags, buttons cut off for sewing or craft, we’ve also cut down on gifts in general and try to give experiences which are waste free and local.



  • I’ll admit I don’t recycle wrapping paper and where we live we’re not provided with a recycle bin. All our cardboard / paper items are dropped off at a recycle place, I’ve ditched the plastic shopping bags for the reusable sets from Trolley Bags Australia, we donate to charities rather than send stuff to landfill and I like to repurpose items. I know I could do more — perhaps a New Year’s resolution.



  • I recycle wrapping paper too And use plain brown paper to wrap gifts. Then I add some decorations to make it more beautiful. My garbage bin is almost empty. I recycle as much as possible. Plastic, glass and paper go into the recycling bin. Soft plastic to Coles’ recycling bin. Batteries, bulbs and inkjet cartridges to the local library that collects them. I compost all food using the Bokashi bins. And try to find a use to what is laying around. If I can’t find it, I bring it to Salvos.


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