The Clean Up Australia Eco Friendly Christmas Guide


It’s that time of year again! Holidays means taking time with friends, family and loved ones to enjoy a well-deserved break at the end of the year. It’s a time for sharing happiness and celebrating together with food, decorations and fun. But there’s no reason that all that celebrating has to come at the cost of the environment! Here at Clean Up, we wanted to put together an eco friendly guide that would help everyone get the most out of the holidays while saving energy and avoiding waste. Check out our tips and hints for your best and most sustainable Christmas yet! Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for some free goodies!

Support Clean Up Australia this Christmas with a donation to our Christmas Appeal. Your donation will help fund our environmental work, advocacy and provide materials to our wonderful volunteers. A donation to Clean Up Australia is a donation for a cleaner, greener world. Head to to make a secure donation today!

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When it comes to decorations think natural, look outside for materials and avoid plastic. You can create some amazing eco friendly decorations that not only look great but don’t break the bank. Check out our Pinterest board of the best eco friendly DIY’s on the web

When it comes to decorations these are the best 5 tips to follow

1. What’s it made out of?
If it’s plastic, polystyrene or easily broken glass – it’s best to put it back and go for natural, organic materials. Sticking to recyclable or compostable materials means if you don’t want to keep decorations year after year, you won’t be making a big eco foot print each Christmas.

2. How long will it last?

If your material is compostable this is a great way to use new decorations each year – things like dried orange garlands (see above), leaves, and organic materials are all great choices. If you do see something you love in durable glass, porcelain or ceramic make sure you’ll want to keep it year after year to save on waste. The big ones to avoid? Plastic and polystyrene – the less of these we can use the better!

3. Can I up-cycle my old decorations into new ones?

Often those old Christmas baubles don’t need anything more than a coat of paint or a clever approach to make the old new again! Have a look at old wine bottles, mason jars, last years wreaths and things lying round the home to see if their a DIY afternoon away from an amazing Christmas decorating idea.

4. Think LED

Use LED lighting in your Christmas lights this year to reduce your eco footprint and save your power bill! Make sure to only turn on the lights when in use and switch off at other times. Outdoor lights can be a big drain on energy so try not to keep them running all night long! Make a cut off hour and only keep them on for an hour or two each night to save power and reduce your carbon footprint.

5. Recycle

Make sure when Christmas comes to an end that you recycle your decorations made from paper, glass or some types of plastic and double check with your council to see when they’re doing their Christmas tree recycling drive!

Christmas Tips and Ideas


Here are our Top 10 Tips for 2016!

1. Avoid lights or use LED in your decorations to reduce your energy use for the season
2. Send E-cards instead of traditional cards to save paper
3. Use recycled wrapping paper or make your own
4. Make your own eco friendly decorations inspired by nature using branches, fallen leaves, burlap etc.
5. Don’t put unwanted gifts in the bin! Donate them or pass them on to another friend (Your secret is safe with us)
6.Compost your leftovers or make a worm farm
7. Buy eco friendly gifts or donate instead of buying
8. Choose local and organic when it comes to food
9. Put out a separate bin for recyclables while entertaining
10. Get a live potted tree you can keep year round!

Keen to see any Christmas waste doesn’t end up in landfill? Head to and get your very own worm farm or compost set up! There are some great discounts available so check out what’s happening in your area!

Some other great ideas for Christmas 

  • Avoid using plastic disposable cutlery and napkins – use cloth and washable plates
  • Hang onto Christmas paper for crafts and up cycling into decorations – you can also wrap gifts with cloth or tea towels to avoid using paper. Check out this super cute tutorial
  • When it comes to food and decorations – less is more! Don’t get anything you think will be left hanging round after Christmas and end up in the bin
  • When it comes to food, buy seasonal, local and organic where possible. Less distance to travel to the store and less chemicals in production means a more eco friendly Christmas lunch.
  • Rock DIY gifts from the heart or buy eco friendly gifts this season. There are some great options available at the Clean Up Australia Store (Just saying)


When it comes to gifts, think eco friendly and sustainable this year! We have some fun environmentally friendly items available from the Clean Up Australia Day store.


Head to to check out our full range of eco friendly sustainable products that would make the perfect present for someone this year!

As a non-government funded, not-for-profit organisation, we rely on donations from individuals and businesses in order to mobilise hundreds of thousands of Australians to produce fundamental, positive change. By buying a product in our shop, your money will directly help us to run our campaigns and provide Clean Up kits to the participants.

You can also make a donation in a friends name – the perfect gift for someone who has everything! Donations start at $10 and go all the way up to $200 for big spenders

We’ll send you a certificate with the name of the beneficiary to the provided email. It’s a perfect last minute gift that will make a real difference for our environment

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Printable and Email Green Gift Certificates. Click here to grab one for friends and family


We wanted to give you some free fun e-goodies to thank you for your support this year!

Want to make a separate bin for recyclables or compost at your holiday celebration? Check out our free printable recycling label below. Simply print, cut and stick and stop recycling and organic waste ending up in the trash this Christmas!

Download the labels here! 

Want to save on paper this year? Send an e-card! We have two cute downloadable designs that are perfect for friends, family and loved ones this year! 



Don’t forget to register for Clean Up Australia Day 2017! It’s the best gift you could give our environment this Christmas and goes a long way to making a real difference for your community. Because when the rubbish is gone, nature can carry on.

Register now at 

From the entire Clean Up Australia team, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Thank you for all your support throughout 2016!

We hope you have an amazing and well deserved break this year!


© Clean Up Australia 2016


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