How to go green these holidays and spend less
RESIDENTS are being reminded not to let Christmas festivities hinder environmental responsibility.
The Gladstone Local Marine Advisory Committee has offered tips on making reef-healthy decisions these holidays.
Chairman Karl French said small efforts made big differences in reducing "the impact of the silly season on our reef and coastal environment".
Mr French said Christmas resulted in huge amounts of waste with more than 8000 tonnes of wrapping paper used every year, about 50,000 trees worth.
He said this increased pressure on the Great Barrier Reef and marine environments.
"Simple wrapping paper can be recycled but foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot," Mr French said.
"A great way to reduce wrapping waste and save money is to make the wrapping part of the gift, such as a reusable fabric bag, scarf or tea towel -something that can be used beyond Christmas."
Mr French said materials such as ribbons should be reused rather than thrown away, with local op-shops providing an excellent opportunity to recycle items.
"Christmas decorations and table settings are another area where you don't need to have new (things)," he said.
Mr French recommended buying toys with rechargeable batteries or no batteries for children, as batteries are "never biodegradable" and difficult to recycle.
Regarding food and drink, he said residents should avoid disposable cutlery and buy local produce without excess packaging.
"Buying local food not only supports your community but also means your food hasn't been transported across the country, or even the world, to get to your plate," Mr French said. "And plan ahead so you can store all your leftovers."