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I always thought mum insisted on keeping wrapping paper to save money, now I’m stockpiling it.

3 December 2020
I always thought mum insisted on keeping wrapping paper to save money, now I’m stockpiling it.

Unwrap our sustainability tips for the silly season, they’ll save you money too.

Australians use an average of eight metres of wrapping paper for Christmas gifts alone!* While we’re getting in the festive mood, consider looking at environmentally friendly products when gift giving. Often being sustainable is seen as being expensive, but it doesn’t need to be. Here’s some tips to save money and do your bit for the planet these holidays.

Skip plastic, packaging and wrapping

When it comes to wrapping — get creative! Recycle gift wrap from other occasions or use any paper you might have at home and re-decorate it. And, if you’re feeling extra creative, make your own, anything from tea towels to t-shirts to painted boxes that would otherwise be thrown away can do the job with a bit of imagination. You’ll save money by using simple alternatives to wrapping paper that will otherwise end up in landfill.

When shopping for food, we’re all on top of taking our own bags to the store, but this can also extend to bags and containers for fruit and veg. Do you have a plastic punnet floating around? Give it a quick wash and remove the barcode, now you’ve got the perfect container for small loose fruit and veg like beans and cherries.

If packaging is unavoidable, check Planet Ark’s RecyclingNearYou initiative, you can find recycling options based on the kind of material you have and, if you do this regularly, save tonnes of recyclable material from landfill. While you’re there, RecyclingNearYou also has a great directory of recycled products, which make great gift ideas.

Keep it local

If there’s ever been a time to shop locally, it’s now. Where possible, seek unique and one-of-a-kind gifts through local markets, online shopping with small businesses or look to give an experience, like a cooking class or donate in the name of the gift’s recipient.

By shopping in-season produce from your local market, you can often get fruit and veg cheaper and on top of that, it’s often better for the environment and reduces overall food mileage.

If you’re planning a seafood meal, visit GoodFish, the Australian Marine Conservation Society’s sustainable seafood guide to help connect you with sustainably farmed and caught seafood. This ensures your feast is fresh, local and isn’t contributing to over-fishing.

And if you end up with leftovers that you can’t eat, try looking at your local council’s website for shared composting sites where you can drop off any food waste so it can be composted.

Use what you have

Picnics, gatherings and meals together are what the holiday season is all about. Instead of spending on single use plates, cutlery and picnic items, look to invest in a re-usable picnic set or get your family and friends to help with the dishes! Things like paper straws reduce plastic going into landfill and even better, re-usable straws are cheap to purchase and easy to clean.

Spread the sustainability

If you’re on board with making sustainable choices this festive season and beyond, here’s some quick tips to help spread the sustainability to your super:

  • Consider consolidating your super into one account. This means you’ll have one set of fees, all your super savings in one place and reduce the amount of paperwork across multiple accounts
  • Check your communication preferences in MemberOnline. Make sure you’re set to email/online for all correspondence and you’ll be joining thousands of members who’ve said no to paper
  • Consider changing your investment strategy to our award-winning Sustainable Balanced option. While we already consider environmental, social and governance criteria across all our investment options, the Sustainable Balanced option has an enhanced focus on these features and aligns with several of the UN’s Sustainable Development goals.

If you think the Sustainable Balanced option might be for you, book an obligation-free call-back^ with one of our financial planners to discuss the best investment option for your super. Advice from one of our planners is provided at no extra cost to members, a win for the environment and your super savings.

This information contains general advice, not taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should determine if it is appropriate for you. Before acquiring a product, first read its product disclosure statement. Some products and services offered on this website are provided by third parties. The trustee is not responsible for the products or services, views or actions of these third parties. Terms and conditions may apply which should be obtained from the third parties direct. The trustee does not accept liability if loss or damage is incurred from the acquisition of third party products or services. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and you should consider other factors before choosing a fund or changing your investments.

*CARE Australia research survey https://www.care.org.au/media/media-releases/aussies-wrap-world-paper-four-times-christmas/, accessed 18 November 2020.

^Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.

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