BYO

AND SHOP WITHOUT WASTE
TIS THE SEASON
The holiday season in Sustainable Style without costing the earth

Welcome!

You’ve found your way to the Sustainability in Style ‘Tis the Season’ section of our ‘Take Action’ collection. This collection of posts and it’s home page are loaded with ideas on how you can take action this holiday season to reduce your negative impact on people and planet.

From reducing your food waste, to shopping for gifts in mindful ways, these tips should help inspire you to live life in Sustainable Style during the festive season (minus the overwhelm).

Some of the resources on this page date back to the beginnings of Sustainability in Style’s online journey as a personal blog. We acknowledge that ‘Christmas’ is commonly used in older posts due to our geographical locations (Australia) recognition of this holiday time. However, the term ‘holiday’ is now used as the season of celebration expands to be inclusive of other cultural and religious beliefs.

You’ve found your way to the action-based section of Sustainability in Style. The place and space that shares previous action adventures conducted in Sustainable Style.

Whatever it is that you value, we invite you to explore, connect, and tread a little lighter on our planet holiday season.

Celebrate this season with big love.

Katie

 

SHOP WITHOUT WASTE

Christmas shopping is hard work, even if you aren’t actually buying anything. There are car parks to be found, crowded trains to board, and escalators with more people than stairs. There are also the Grinches. The Grinch emerges from the most lovely of people and often comes as a complete surprise.

The Grinch steals your car park, elbows you in the crowds, and takes the last box of Christmas cherries from the supermarket shelf right from under your hands. It can be easy to get mad at the Grinch, but it’s best to remember that they too are a nice person just like you. It’s just that they had allowed themselves to catch a case of the grinch from someone or something else!

You can prevent yourself from catching a case of the grinch by making time for breaks in your Christmas preparations. Sometimes these breaks come with some takeaway food choices (coffee being the popular choice). Being the eco-savvy folks you are, you will likely already know the importance of a BYO waste reduction kit, but consider this a friendly reminder. You might also use these ideas to inspire gifting options for friends who are beginning their Sustainably Stylish journey. Your eco kit can include:

 

YOUR WASTE REDUCTION KIT MAY INCLUDE

  • A reusable water bottle: For keeping hydrated on the go without needing to buy bottled water. Glass is my favourite reusable bottle choice and it’s good to look for additional benefits (like a charity donation) when purchasing your bottle.
  • A reusable coffee cup: To avoid contributing to the 1 billion disposable coffee cups added to landfill EACH YEAR here in Australia.
  • A knife and fork: Pack some from your kitchen drawer if you don’t have folding or camp varieties.
  • A reusable napkin: If you don’t have a designated one you can always use a handkerchief for this. No hanky? Raid grandpa’s stash… he will have a new one hidden in there somewhere. These are useful for cleaning hands and faces and can also be used to dry stainless steel or bamboo straws and knives and forks.
  • Spoon and Chopsticks: If you know you are likely to end up somewhere where you will need these, feel free to pack some from the kitchen or request (on your gift wish list) or invest in a cute little set
  • Reusable bags: If you are planning to do a big shop and tend to do so regularly, get yourself some serious shopping bags, otherwise a collection of reusable bags that can easily be carried in one another with one hand, or packed into your handbag will do the trick. My bag at the top is from Boomerang Bags.
  • A straw and a smoothie cup: A reusable straw is the easiest way to cut your rubbish, and they are a great conversation starter. If you don’t want to carry your own smoothie cup (totally get it, they can be quite awkward), then choose to have a smoothie ‘eat-in’ at a cafe in a glass or mason jar but remember to tell them to hold the straw! Quite often your request for no straw won’t work, so don’t feel too awful if you still get one as many busy cafe staff are operating on autopilot.
  • Small bags: These are great for on-the-go grocery shopping or if you have a collection of little goodies (like loose pens or Christmas decorations), that you don’t want to get lost in a big bag. My mesh set (one shown at top) were gifted to me six years ago and are still going strong.
  • Folding travel cup: These are ideal when you find yourself somewhere that offers ‘free samples’ of something. It gets a little frustrating when you find yourself at a delicious tea shop with sample teas that can only be sampled with throw-away plastic cups. Ask if you can taste from your stainless steel travel cup instead!
  • Containers, plates, or bowls: If you intend on eating from a takeaway place, bring along a similar sized container (or keep the container from your last visit). Depending on their health and safety policy, most places will use your BYO container if you smile nicely. They will may be baffled about this request, but it’s another good conversation starter.

While it might seem that your efforts are a small drop in the ocean of single use items that move through a typical food court on any given day you can feel good about your decision to BYO. The best part is that your decision to bring your own waste reduction goodies will often result in a conversation about single use items. Who knows… that convo might just inspire another person to invest in a stainless steel straw or bring their own coffee cup!

TAKE THE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE

BE ECO
If you find taking action over the holiday season a bit overwhelming, why not use our Values Motivators based approach to reduce the ‘where do I start’ stress. It will help you work out if getting a Tofu Turkey, spending Christmas day planting trees, ordering all your presents online from an eco-friendly shopping service, or volunteering at the soup kitchen should get shuffled to the top of your To-Do list.

VALUES MOTIVATORS AND ON-THE-GO WASTE REDUCTION

We know (and celebrate) that everyone’s approach to living life in Sustainable Style is a little bit different. While some of us are busy creating a home-made meatless meatloaf others are busy juggling kids, work and trying to online order the groceries for delivery without plastic bags. Our (TOTALLY FREE) Values Motivators Quiz helps you identify what motivates you to live life in Sustainable Style, and our huge collection of free and paid resources can guide you in making Values-based choices for living life in Sustainable Style. 

 

ANIMAL WELFARE AND COMPASSION
If you’re motivated by Animal Welfare and Compassion Motivators, you might want to think about investing in (or making) some bee-less beeswax wraps using carnauba wax. You can keep these on hand and use them for wrapping snacks on the go, or offer them over as a place to put things that would normally be given in a paper bag or a serviette (i.e. bliss balls, cookies, slice)
SOCIAL EQUALITY
If you’re motivated these holidays to choose options that support others to live a comfortable and happy life. When purchasing your take-away coffee in your reusable cup, try to find Fair Trade coffee providers. You might also want to Google to see if there are equity or social enterprise cafes in your area supporting minority groups or those looking for second-chance employment. 
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
If you’re motivated to do good for the planet these holidays, why not consider making your own reusable kits for your family members? You will be able to find all the things you need for a DIY kit in a charity shop near you. Ideas for your shopping list include fabric to create a cutlery roll, vintage knives and forks, embroidered linen napkins or handkerchiefs, reusable cups or mugs, plastic or silicone plates, and bowls. You may be surprised just how easy it is to DIY your own BYO gift set!   
SIMPLICITY AND STREAMLINED LIFESTYLE
Suppose you’re super busy this holiday season and want to maximise your time without costing the earth. Next time you close your emails down for the day, spend five minutes searching for apps or websites that help you find responsible cafes in your local area (here’s an example of one). Add these locations into maps on your phone, and next time you need to grab nourishment in a hurry, use these locations to guide your choices. 

FREE

HOLIDAY GUIDE
 Have you seen our Sustainably Stylish approach to the festive season? You can download it as a free PDF infographic. Use it as the background on your phone, or print it on recycled paper and put it somewhere you will see it often throughout the holiday season.
Download Please

 KISS ECO-OVERWHELM GOODBYE

Is Sustainably Stylish living during the holiday season got you feeling a bit stressed out? We’ve got you covered with FREE resources to help you combat eco-overwhelm.

Click here to find out about our unique approach to caring for your Sustainable Self (including our eight-part toolkit) as you live life in Sustainable Style.

WHAT IS YOUR BYO MUST HAVE? IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WOULD ADD TO THE LIST ABOVE? PERHAPS YOU HATE BRINGING YOUR OWN? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW.