Live large these holidays with a small footprint

TRASH OR TREASURE: The average Australian household has $4200 worth of unused goods they could sell or give away, keeping material circulating rather than gathering dust in sheds or landfill. Photo: Shutterstock
TRASH OR TREASURE: The average Australian household has $4200 worth of unused goods they could sell or give away, keeping material circulating rather than gathering dust in sheds or landfill. Photo: Shutterstock

From renovation recycling to reducing food waste, any Aussie can have an eco-friendly holiday.

The summer holidays are a time for Australians to celebrate, travel, revive and live large, but there’s also room to think of the planet. So Planet Ark has put together a low-waste holiday survival guide, Planet Ark’s Holiday Hacks for Living Large with a Small Footprint, packed with tips on everything from how to keep renovation materials out of landfill, travel responsibly, to cutting back on food waste without cutting back on fun.

Australians were estimated to have spent more than $11 billion last year around Christmas, which makes for a lot of food waste, packaging and carbon emissions. Despite this massive amount of spending Planet Ark is hearing from an increasing number of Australians who want to have a less wasteful holiday season.

TechCollect found that more than a fifth of Australians consider themselves hoarders of old technology, meaning that the usual holiday splurge might be just adding to a pile of unused electronics.

The average Australian household has $4200 worth of unused goods that they could sell or give away, keeping material circulating rather than gathering dust in sheds or landfill.

“Our site RecyclingNearYou.com.au sees more traffic in January than any time of year as people try to clean out the excess ‘stuff’ like old clothing and technology, which is why we put together the hacks,” says Ryan Collins, Planet Ark’s recycling programs manager.

“And there are lots of other great ways to reduce your holiday eco-footprint, such as finding a skip bin company that recycles your renovation or holiday clean-out waste, buying second-hand or recycled, and being economical with things like food and travel.”

Planet Ark’s survival guide also includes tips from eco ambassadors in fields ranging from professional decluttering to rocket science.

“You can have a really rewarding holiday while aiming to make as little waste as possible; it’s not about choosing between fun or your eco credentials”, says Anita Vandyke, Planet Ark ambassador and author of A Zero Waste Life.

For details about how to live large over the holidays while keeping your eco footprint small, visit recyclingnearyou.com.au/holidays.