Christmas is a time of family, celebration and joy. However, if you have kids, it’s also a time of STUFF! So much stuff. Every year I’m torn between buying Tully what she wants and also stressing out about the amount of plastic landfill we are creating. Tully loves stuff, really, really loves it. Anything small, plastic and with ‘a cute little face’ and she can’t get enough of it. Being surrounded by her collections makes her feel safe. However, it makes me feel overwhelmed! Plus, we live with my niece and nephew, so between the three of them it’s chaos!
This post is in collaboration with iTrust
Tully has family in two countries and that means a lot of presents being sent, or money deposited into accounts to buy more stuff. She’s very lucky that she’s surrounded by so many generous people, plus extra lucky because she gets sent a lot of things by way of this blog. But we need to cut down. We need to look at how we are contributing to landfill and how we can make small changes. After all, if everyone made small changes, then together, we would make a big change!
5 ways to reduce landfill this Christmas
Reducing wrapping paper usage
This is one I really have to work on because I love Christmas wrapping paper! I love to theme it all and make it look pretty. However, did you know that most wrapping paper is non-recyclable? A 2017 survey from CARE Australia found Australians use 150,000 kilometres of wrapping paper over the festive season – enough to wrap the world in paper almost four times. Plastic cellophane, metallic wrapping or paper with glitter or foil detail can’t be recycled and will end up in landfill. So it’s time to start looking at using paper we can recycle, such as brown paper.
Starting an investment account for Tully
With half of Tully’s family living in the UK I’m going to set up an account with iTrust – a new investment service that focuses on helping families invest in their child’s future. Rather than giving more stuff, I will be inviting grandparents to contribute money to Tully’s iTrust account. This money is then invested on her behalf.
There’s only a $20 set up fee and then you can have up to ten child accounts linked to your account. I love the idea that in 10 years when she’s finished school, she will then have a nest egg that she can use to travel, buy her first car or keep towards a house deposit.
iTrust is as easy as sending an iTunes gift card, making it easy for friends and family to transfer money into your child’s account whilst also cutting down on landfill with toys etc that will just be thrown away in months to come.
The earlier you start an iTrust account, the more your child will have when they grow up. Putting in $1,000 when your child is born is worth four to five times as much as if you put it in when your child is seven or eight years old, because the compound interest accelerates the interest. Putting $1,000 in a bank account for 10 years will only see it turn into $1,397 but putting it into equities can reap anywhere between $1,692 and $2,119, and $3,395 if invested in a diversified fund.
Choosing a sustainable tree
We always get a real Christmas tree – it’s not Christmas without one! But when choosing your tree, make sure it comes from a sustainable Christmas tree farm. You can also get a live tree in a pot you can keep year after year if you are good with plants.
Don’t waste food
There is so much food at Christmas! It can be easy to over cater, especially when you have people all bringing something. The best ways not to waste food are: To make a meal plan so you only buy what you need, is to make sure whoever is bringing food knows how many they are catering for, and to ask people coming to bring containers so they can take leftovers home.
Donate old toys and unwanted gifts – don’t throw them!
We always do a clear out pre-Christmas and donate the toys to our local Red Cross. On the occasion that some gifts are unwanted, such as double up gifts or things that are a bit young for Tully, we donate them to services that collect toys for kids. We have sent some to refugee families, some to Fiji in a giant container and some to local women’s shelters. Donating presents is a great way to spread Christmas cheer.
What are some other ways you are recycling this Christmas?
For more information on iTrust and their services visit https://www.itrustinvest.com/