By Vanessa Beddoe-Sandstrom
It seems that every year toy manufacturers increase the amount of packaging used to entrap a single toy. Add to this wrapping paper, cards and plastic toys that break after five minutes, and Christmas starts looking distinctly environmentally unfriendly! We asked some parents what steps they’re taking to be more earth-conscious this Christmas, and here are their great suggestions.
“We’ve purchased a ‘living Christmas tree’; because I’ve always felt guilty about them being chopped down. We’re going to put a mark on the wall so we can see how much it grows each year, and have even given it a name! Much nicer than plastic or throwing out a dead tree once Christmas is over, and cheaper too!” David, Warkworth
“We’ve put a ban on wrapping this Christmas. My mum sewed a big Santa sack instead that we’ll leave under the tree on Christmas morning. It depresses me how little the kids notice the wrapping and it’s always too creased or ripped to be reused.” Caroline, Waitakere.
“We felt a little bit cheeky asking, but we’ve told all the grandparents that we don’t want any plastic gifts for the kids. We gave them loads of cheap suggestions so hopefully we haven’t hurt anyone’s feelings! Plastic toys always seem to break, or the kids play with them for a couple of minutes before they’re forgotten.” Sian, Blockhouse Bay.
“We purchased some presents second-hand off Trade Me this year. By buying second-hand we avoid all the packaging that comes with new items and we’ve chosen quality wooden gifts or sports equipment mostly. It also works out a lot cheaper and the kids get better gifts that we couldn’t afford to buy new.” Lisa, Royal Heights.
“I’ve made home-made edible gifts for all the adults this year and packaged them in nice glass jars. I’ve also stopped sending out paper Christmas cards and replaced them with e-cards. Some people donate the money they save to a charity, but I’ve chosen a better quality wine to have with Christmas dinner instead!” Anna, Hillsborough.
“I’ve bought all the adults an energy light bulb this year. Not the most exciting gift in the world, but considering they use 80% less energy and last eight times longer than a standard bulb, it’s my little way to positively impact energy consumption!” Jamie, Waitakere.
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