• EPA Tasmania
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Consider the environment this Christmas

Consider the environment on your Christmas gift list this year by sourcing festive feasts from local ingredients and using less wrapping paper and disposable tableware.

With a little planning, the environmental impact of festive activity could be significantly reduced.

It will surprise a lot of people to discover how far their traditional Christmas dinner has travelled.

Some food travels over 2000 kilometres to arrive on our plates: the garlic may be from China, and corn from Thailand.

The ingredients for a typical meal can consume about 70 times more ‘food miles’ than a meal sourced locally and transport of our Christmas dinner is contributing to carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.

A locally-sourced diet consumes about 17 times less fuel than a typical diet based on food shipped across the country. It also supports local farmers, local businesses and the community.

There are many delicious fruits and vegetables in season ready for the Christmas table and grown in Tasmania.

Quality Tasmanian poultry is also available as well as pates, dips, bread, wine and carbonated fruit juices. There are now many suppliers of Tasmanian organic produce, including dairy foods and as a bonus, food grown in Tasmania is GM free.

To reduce the 25 per cent increase in household waste during the festive season, re-use and recycle gift wrap, ribbons, plastic disposables and even excess food.

Rather than wrap oversized gifts, simply tie a bow around them. Instead of wrapping children’s gifts, create some fun and hide them and make a treasure hunt map.

Alternatively choose Christmas gifts that reduce packaging or create no waste, for example gift certificates with a difference like Adult Education classes, golf or tennis lessons, charitable donations, tickets to a concert or sporting event, plants, seeds and pots for a window-box herb garden, fruit, herb or spice baskets.

And remember that, after the festivities, Christmas cards can be recycled.