10 climate-conscious Christmas gift ideas

Show you care with Earth-friendly gifts this Christmas to help save the planet and your pocket.

During the silly season, Australians give around $20 million of unwanted gifts, use more than 150,000km of wrapping paper, and throw away staggering quantities of single-use packaging and uneaten food.

Thankfully, there are many sustainable (and equally merry) alternatives. Here are 10.

1. Shop sustainably
Check off your Christmas list at our city’s many sustainably-minded businesses. What’s On Melbourne also offers this great guide to retailers that help you reduce your plastic footprint.

2. Make memories
Gift your loved one a service or experience, like tickets to a concert, event or film (head to What’s On Melbourne for inspiration), or book a class where you can both learn a new skill.

This is a great way to spend quality time together and make lasting memories, without material gifts.

3. Give your time
Treat your friends and family to vouchers for babysitting, dog walking, gardening and more.

4. Get cooking
Use your culinary skills to make homemade food or drink as gifts, packaged in reusable containers. Homemade presents are often more personal, better for the environment, and less likely to go to waste.

5. Worm your way into someone’s heart
Did you know five million tonnes of food ends up as landfill in Australia each year?

Buy your Earth-conscious loved one a discounted worm farm or bokashi composting system thanks to our partnership with Compost Revolution, and learn how to compost against climate change.

6. Become a woke wrapper
Wrap your gifts in old newspapers, magazines, your child’s artworks, fabric, last year’s wrapping paper, or reused gift bags.

Be conscious of the wrapping you receive, too. While most paper can be recycled, plastic cellophane, metallic wrapping and tinsel must be re-used or go to landfill.

7. Send your love, digitally
E-cards have come a long way since the 90s. There are many free and paid designs that save the many resources needed to make and distribute physical cards.

8. Make a difference to people in need
Make a donation to charity in someone’s name, or volunteer together instead of giving gifts. Find out more about how to help people experiencing homelessness.

9. Cap your spending
Suggest a Kris Kringle system for your family, friends or colleagues, rather than buying gifts for everyone. This is especially impactful if there are lots of you.

10. Take care of your tech
Donate, sell or recycle your old mobile phone or tech gadget if a new one is on your wish list. Visit E-waste to find out where to recycle these items in your local area.

Want to do more? Visit 8 top tips for a trash-free Christmas party or 5 powerful New Year’s resolutions.

Then find out how we’re taking action on climate change.