Ah, Christmas.

A time of for glut, excess, blowing the budget and overeating. A time of big piles of wrapping paper being squished into the bin. Of waste piling up next to the wheelie bins and taking weeks to clear. But does it have to be this way? No way folks. There are plenty of tricks to help you do this Christmas thing without becoming a monster. Here are some simple, straightforward tips: BUY SECOND HAND To make a circular economy work, we need to make buying second hand our go-to. Christmas is the ideal time to put this principle into practice. Op shops have amazing ranges, from books, to clothes, to kid’s toys and homewares, so you can shop for the whole family in one go. Here at The Bower, our truck goes out daily collecting items which are brought back and sold in our stores, so there’s a constantly replenished array of antique, retro and unique items.  CHOOSE REUSABLE WRAPPING This one is easy. Raid your stationary stash for tissue paper and your sewing kit for fabric. Salvage newspapers, magazines and paper from the recycling bin. Repurpose your kid’s artwork and hair ribbons, and keep it all together to reuse next year.   PICK UP YOUR TREE FROM THE BOWER Pine tree farms aren’t great for biodiversity, so rather than supporting them, why not buy a sustainable Christmas tree from The Bower? Ours are handmade from salvaged timber in our woodshop in Redfern. Plus they’re compact, store well and your purchase will support an awesome environmental charity. All good things.  DON’T BUY PLASTIC DECORATIONS Christmas decorations don’t need to be plastic or destined to end up in landfill. Get creative with reused materials and create paper chains, baubles and wreaths. Reverse Garbage is probably the best place in Sydney (if not the universe) to pick up amazing craft materials and lots of them. MAKE PRESENTS This one requires a bit of planning but is oh-so-satisfying. There’s infinite ways to make your own gifts – you can infuse olive oil with herbs, chilli or limes and gift it in glass jars and bottles. Vodka is also great for this! With enough lead time, you can also create bespoke presents in our Rent-a-Bench program. DO A KRIS KRINGLE Kris Kringles are not just for offices and primary school classes – instead of a bunch of people all buying small, unnecessary gifts, why not pick out something unique and special for just one person? This is a great way to minimise waste, and op shops are an excellent place to source something unique. TRY YOUR LUCK IN OUR LUCKY DIP Every Christmas we run a much-loved lucky dip. Staff at The Bower search high and low for trinkets and keepsakes which we wrap up and leave in a big box on the counter. Try your luck, it’s only $5. 

Best of luck with a lovely, low waste Christmas!

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