Go ‘Zero Waste’ This Holiday Season

This year, WeTeachMe challenges you to go ‘Zero Waste’ – save money, save time and save the planet

Creativity 8 min read Nov 27, 2019
Go ‘Zero Waste’ This Holiday Season

There’s a lot of waste generated at Christmas in Australia.

For starters, Australian’s use around 150,000km of wrapping paper, which is enough to wrap the Earth up at least 4 times over! And to make matters worse, Aussies receive more than 20 million gifts they don’t actually need or want.

The holidays are a time for celebration – for getting together with family and friends to reflect on the year that was, and get excited about the new year that’s about to arrive.

This year at WeTeachMe, we want you to spend more time with the people you love, and less time unwrapping junk you don’t want. That’s why we’re challenging you to go ‘Zero Waste’ these holidays. How? Let’s take a closer look at what it means and a few things you can do today to shift your approach to gift giving this season.

What is ‘Zero Waste’

Put simply, zero waste is a movement that is all about making sure our waste doesn’t end up in landfills or littering our precious oceans. This is important because of carbon emissions – the more stuff we produce, the more carbon is burnt and released into the atmosphere.

Countries like the United States, Canada and Australia have the highest emissions because of their large populations and industrial activities. Here in Australia, we have an average carbon footprint of 17 tonnes per capita, which is more than 3x higher than the global average. Why is this a bad thing?

Well, here’s a little science 101 for you: if greenhouse gases end up in our atmosphere quickly, the more the world climate is impacted, leading to global warming. And this has a few scary side effects for our environment, like extreme weather (flooding, storms and fires, as an example) and rising sea-levels. It also affects each and every living being, changing how our food is grown and changes to our water systems.

When it comes to Christmas, there’s so much you can do to lessen your impact on the environment. And it all starts with these 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Use recycled paper to wrap gifts

Instead of buying new wrapping paper for gifts, you could try getting creative. Collect old magazines and paper bags in the lead up to the holidays and you can repurpose them into wrapping paper (piece of cake, right).

The same goes for Christmas cards. You could opt to send an Ecard this year, or make your own using plain paper and decorate them however you like. This will turn your generic gifts into works of art (look at you go, Picasso!).

Step 2: Plan out your feasts

In December alone, we Aussies throw out around 25% of our festive food. To paint a clearer picture, the water needed to make one burger is the same as showering for 90 minutes!

To lessen food waste this year, find out exactly how many people you’ll be cooking for. Then, plan out your meals accordingly. And after it’s all said and done (and your pants are a little tighter), consider sharing leftovers with your neighbours, or taking them to your local Salvation Army shelter.

Step 3: Gift an experience instead

There’s only one thing better than spending time with people you adore – and that’s the lifelong memories that come from sharing a special experience together.

This year, instead of spending thousands at your local shopping centre, give your nearest and dearest the ultimate gift: your time. Take a painting workshop together, or try your hand at cooking - maybe some Italian food? You could choose something you know they’re passionate about and show them your support by sharing it with them.

WeTeachMe challenges YOU to try something different!

Whatever your passion, whatever your interest – we have a class near you. Explore dozens of different categories and start the festive season off with doing something you love.

And for every class you buy in December, we’ll donate 1% of our profits to 1% for the Planet!