3 ways to have a sustainable holiday season in Melbourne


From enjoying baked goodies to shopping and ringing in the New Year with family and friends, there’s something for everyone to love during the holiday season.

Everyone except Mother Nature, perhaps. That’s because the holidays are also a time where we’re tempted to buy, go and do as much as possible and our waste and consumption skyrocket.

Fortunately, there are ways to practice sustainability while celebrating the season in Melbourne. We explore three here.

1. Gift responsibly 

You know the saying – the best things in life aren’t things. It might seem cheesy, but this is often very true when it comes to gifts.

There are heaps of ways to give the perfect present without buying anything manufactured, including:

  • Giving something handmade;
  • Buying tickets for an upcoming event; and
  • Making a donation to charity in their name.

Sometimes, the most valuable gift is your time. If your friend just had a baby, for example, there are few things she’ll appreciate more than an IOU for an evening of childcare.

If you do want to take the material route, shop local and support Melbourne craftspeople. Head to Docklands to pick up some last minute presents at the Blender Artist Market on Friday night or pop into the Rose Street Market in Fitzroy on Saturday or Sunday.

Support local business this festive season and pop into the Rose Street Market in Fitzroy on Saturday or Sunday to pick up your last minute gifts.

2. Clean up with care

We have to say it – eventually holiday season must come to an end. Following the festivities, you’ll have a lot of things to pack away, tidy up and dispose of.

During the holidays, landfills go into overdrive. Avoid contributing to this by understanding how to properly dispose of certain items. Christmas lights, for example, should never go in the landfill, nor should your old mobile phone or other electronics if Santa surprises you with an upgrade.

Repurpose or donate unwanted gifts instead of turning them into waste.

Repurposing and donating are even better options for would-be waste. Last year, Australians received $179 million of unwanted Christmas presents, according to CARE Australia, which is why we think it’s time to do away with the regifting faux pas. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your office Kris Kringle.

Planet ARK have a great ‘12 do’s of Christmas‘ campaign to help us help the planet this holiday season.

3. Choose sustainable foods and save those leftovers

If you’re entertaining over Christmas and New Year’s, design your menu around local, seasonal and organic food choices. This will not only make for a more sustainable meal, but most likely a tastier, healthier one too!

Design your menu around local, seasonal and organic food choices. Head down to your local market or farmers market for inspiration!

It’s also important to be careful about waste. Confirm who’s coming so you don’t make too much, and be sure to save leftovers. According to Planet Ark, 57 percent of Aussies pack up Christmas dinner and enjoy it on Boxing Day. This year, we’d love to see that number inch closer to 100.

At Nelson Alexander, we know it doesn’t get better than spending the holidays in Melbourne. Here’s to wishing you all a safe, happy and, of course, sustainable holiday season.

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