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You can do your bit for the environment and save money. How does that sound?
By Julie Nipperess
A recent survey by Finder found that more than half of Australians (51%) worry about excessive waste over the Christmas season, and plan to make the festive season more sustainable.
That’s good news for the environment, and it’s a great way to save money. Here are five things you can do.
1. Decorate a pot plant.
Ask yourself … Do you need the big tree? Plastic is not fantastic, and even if you’re opting for a ‘real’ one … it will eventually die, having been grown solely so that you can enjoy it over Christmas. Get creative. Most plants lend themselves to a bauble or two and some tinsel or lights.
Yukkas look great, and so do Fiddle Leaf Fig trees – and both will still suit your living spaces when the deccas come off. Take a look at Pintrest and unleash your imagination!
2. Choose solar lights or battery powered.
Solar lights, of course, are powered by the sun, that beautiful free natural resource. Batteries are a great choice too, because they can be recycled.
Do your research though, it’s not as simple as popping batteries into the recycle bin, but your local tip should be able to assist you in disposing of them.
3. Choose recycled wrapping paper, or fabric.
Both are much better for the environment and leftover fabric can be used as rags, or bundled up for kids craft. Be wary of wraps and ribbons too … they’re beautiful, but they’re expensive and often that means ‘excessive’.
Some of those shiny and sparkly papers take quite a long time to break down, too.
4. Think about what you’re buying
The big supermarkets copped a lot of flack some years ago for not going with reusable bags sooner, and undoubtedly this has had a considerable impact on the environment. But most parents will tell you that kid’ toys are a big culprit – and come with a lot of unnecessary packaging. So does flat packed furniture.
Consider giving ‘experiences’ like movie tickets, cafe vouchers, massages, or a pedicure. Books are always a great choice for kids and last long after Santa has been and gone several times over. For those who love the electronic devices, money for apps and games is always welcome.
Of course, the other old favourite is ‘Secret Santa’ which will mean everyone gets a gift, and you only need to buy one. This is much kinder on your bank balance too. And remember, where you can, shop local. The local businesses need your support now, more than ever.
Despite the fact that this is one of my favourite times of year, it can be very stressful for a lot of people. It’s important to take care of yourself, and that means not taking on too many responsibilities and wearing yourself out. It also means looking after your money, so you don’t have debt you regret in January.
Just a reminder that we’re closing over the Christmas break – from 18 December until 4 January. You can make an appointment online for the New Year, and we’ll see you then.
This is general advice and should not be treated as personal advice. Julie Nipperess is an authorised representative of Step Up Financial Group Pty Ltd ASFL No: 512509.