5 Creative Ways To Reduce Waste Over The Holidays This Year

Whether it’s for ‘Secret Santa’, Christmas stockings, client or family gifts, the holiday period can bring on a lot of mindless spending. Throw in the added time constraints and you’ll most likely find yourself offloading another box of individually wrapped, sugar-laden confectionery.
According to Scoop, Kiwis spent over 6 BILLION dollars on Christmas last year, generating 30% more waste. In addition, holiday hot-spots saw a 400% increase in waste with a large portion attributed to food-related packaging.

So what can I do?

The good news is there are plenty of ways to make a difference this year. We’ve curated our top 5 tips for reducing waste these holidays.


1. Gift artisanal foodie hampers

Create gift hampers for families to avoid individually wrapped items for each person. Pick up a second-hand straw basket for a couple of dollars at your local Hospice shop and fill it with an array of baked goods, fresh fruit and artisanal, locally-made products. Be sure to choose as many items as you can that come in glass jars (like Forty Thieves Salted Macadamia!) or in chocolate and crackers that are wrapped in paper or cardboard packaging.


2. Get crafty with recyclable jars


All Forty Thieves Nut Butters come in recyclable glass jars. While recycling clean glass jars is a hugely better alternative over throwing plastic away to landfill, reusing glass jars is an even better option for the environment. This Christmas try your hand at creating your own gifts using glass jars. Our favourite ideas include bliss ball mixes, terrariums, soy candles, homemade chutneys, pickles and body scrubs. Need a last minute gift for Christmas Day?

Make your own bliss balls mix jars for the perfect gift: Gingerbread Bliss Balls Mix 


3. Make or find your own decorations and cards

Instead of buying mass-produced decorations that are often made from plastic, make your own this year. Create colourful paper chains from old newspapers and magazines to hang on your tree and home. Cut up old clothing for simple fabric decorations. Use found objects like feathers, shells, flowers and leaves for table placements and create your own candle placeholders by filling a Forty Thieves glass jar with sand and placing a candle inside. You can even paint the jar and tie with twine or reusable ribbon for a more unique look.


4. Turn your next beach picnic into a ‘BYO utensils’ gathering.

Spending time eating outdoors is one of our favourite parts of the summer holidays. Try organising a waste-free picnic where everyone is responsible for bringing their own plate, fork, knife, spoon and even a cup. This way, the public rubbish bins don’t fill up with single-use utensils and everyone is responsible for cleaning their own things. Bring food in reusable containers or alternatively use bees-wax wraps over cling-film. Forty Thieves offers beautiful fabric tote bags that can be used to carry groceries or your togs and towels.


5. Change your clothes shopping habits

New clothes for Christmas Day, summer BBQs and New Year’s Eve celebrations can be uplifting and instil confidence. Unfortunately with the rise of ‘fast fashion’ a shopping spree can result in added waste if your purchases focus on price over quality. Hit your local op-shops and flick through unique, timeless items. Try organising a clothing swap with a group of friends. Bring along items you no longer wear and you might successfully swap them for something new that totally fits your style. If you are buying new clothes, be sure to avoid cheaply made clothing from polyester that will ultimately fall apart and end up in landfill. Instead make thoughtful purchases by opting for natural fibres. Be sure to check labels and opt for 100% cotton, linen, hemp, wool and even ethically sourced leather.


The summer holidays in New Zealand are what many of us hold out for all year. Make a conscious effort to reduce waste this summer and feel even better, knowing you’re making a difference.

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