Your Christmas gathering will undoubtedly be full of food, dance-offs and corny jokes as everyone lets their hair down and gets into the spirit of things. It’s also a time excess and loads of waste – with bags full to the brim with remnants of a good time that, sadly, can linger in the environment long after the event. With a bit of conscious consumption and a few easy tricks, it’s easy to reduce waste at Christmas and be kinder to our planet in the clean up.

Check out these 7 everyday tips that will help make your event or party a hit!

1. Reduce paper waste

Have a few towels and tea towels handy for any spills. Who needs paper napkins when you can use festive reusable tea towels, complete with cheery and cheesy reindeer, Christmas trees and stars?

2. Embrace good old fashioned cutlery

Ditch the plastic cutlery that gets thrown away after one use but takes years to breakdown in landfill. Instead use cutlery straight from the kitchen drawer. With most offices and homes having a dishwasher all you need is a few willing people to share the clean up and it gets done quickly. No one should be stuck in the kitchen all night, so make it as easy as possible and share the load.

3. Go plastic free

Make your event a cling wrap free zone by storing food or leftovers in beeswax wraps or reusable containers.

4. Buy recycled or compostable wherever possible

If you don’t have enough essentials stockpiled in your kitchen to cater for the crowd then aim to buy recycled paper plates and cups – compostable wooden cutlery is a convenient and eco-friendly option.

5. Buy only what you need at your local bulk food wholesaler

Reduce waste at bulk food wholesalersPlacing your treats straight into containers will keep them fresh longer, and you’re able to buy as much or as little as you need – don’t be limited by pre-determined pack sizes. Plus you’ll be reducing plastic waste by not buying prepackaged food. There’s The Source Bulk Foods, Wasteless Pantry and many organic stores like Terra Madre and Aunt Maggies, which offer bulk groceries. Just bring your own jars and containers.

6. Send leftover food home for everyone to enjoy

Reduce food waste being sent to landfill by giving everyone a doggie bag of the leftovers. Who doesn’t love Christmas leftovers the next day, when you can’t be bothered cooking? Make sure you ask everyone to both bring and take home everything in containers. If everyone’s on board, the impact is multiplied and adds up quickly. Plus, they’ll have delicious leftovers for the day after.

7. Recycle and compost what you can

Recycle and reuse all you can. Make sure any food scraps are composted – the worms will love sharing in Christmas indulgences too.

Once you’re organised for the big event, kick back and enjoy it. You can’t control everyone’s consumption choices but taking these easy measures will ensure you’re doing your best to reduce waste at Christmas. Living a low-waste lifestyle or hosting a low-waste event doesn’t mean giving up fun. It’s about awareness and doing what you can, when you can and then letting it flow into a good time.

In need of a venue or caterer for the Christmas gathering? We highlight some of your options here.

This article first appeared in our monthly newsletter The Gazette. Sign up here and never again miss your monthly dose of good stuff.

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