A crafty sustainable Christmas

Sustainable City

This festive season, show the planet some love while also saving your pocket. From homemade Christmas crackers to recycled wrapping paper, here are some tips to get you started.


New is nice, but old can be oh-so-special! Invite your friends over for cheese and craft or spend the afternoon making something cool from something you already have. Origami stars make nifty tree decorations and can be made from old newspapers or coloured paper. Cut up an old tablecloth and sew mix-match napkins. 

There’s not much YouTube can’t teach these days and best of all, you can spend time leading up to Christmas having fun with the people you love, all while helping the environment.

DIY Christmas crackers

If you're keen to give the plastic-filled Christmas crackers the boot, your luncheon doesn't need to go on without a bang. Make your own eco-friendly Christmas crackers with common items from around the home.

  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue
  • Ribbons or string
  • Empty tubes trimmed to 10cm lengths – from paper towel or wrapping paper
  • A3 paper sliced in half lengthways – for best results use tissue paper or other thin paper
  • Small gifts to fit in the tube – we suggest seed packets, homemade biscuits, or other handmade treats
  • Optional: cracker snaps available at craft stores

  1. Lay a tube in the centre of a piece of paper, with open ends of the tube parallel to the short ends.
  2. Bring the two long ends in together to encase the tube, overlap and tape closed.
    Optional: add cracker snap into the tube and tape in place.
  3. Hold the two ends of the cracker just beyond the end of tube (like you’re riding a bike).
    Using thumb and pointer fingers, gently squeeze to enclose one end of the cardboard tube but leave the end paper un-pinched.
  4. Tie a bow around the pinched area to enclose securely.
  5. Add a gift into the tube.
  6. Repeat pinching on the open end and tie a bow to secure.
  7. Pull and enjoy!
Christmas cracker


Relax! Refuse doesn’t mean turning into the Grinch or going without. It’s simply being aware of what you buy. During your Christmas shop, consider how the product was produced, what it’s made of and how long it will last. Make a pact with yourself to refuse to buy what you really don’t need or what isn’t going to go the distance. 

Where you can, go for locally made, good quality and ethically sourced products. An easy way to start is to make a commitment to refuse to use plastic shopping bags over Christmas. 



Gift shopping is a big part of the festive season experience. When you’re cruising the aisles or store racks, take a moment to ask yourself: “Can this product be recycled?” If you're not sure, the answer can be found here. Take it a step further and try to find wrapping paper or cards made from recycled products.


Save time and money this Christmas by taking the green alternative where it makes simple sense. Start with your festive lights. You could reduce your energy usage by using a timer to keep them running for a short stretch through the evening. Definitely make sure they’re turned off (even at the wall) during the day, and when you’re asleep. For added energy economy, use a product that has energy efficient LED lights or - better still - use solar lights!

Quick switches

Ditch the disposable
Start a festive tradition and invest in a quality tablecloth and napkins you use each year.

Forget the Christmas crackers
Spread the love by trading free compliments with your lunch guests.

Be recycle ready
Next to your inside general waste bin, setup up a few recycling boxes for guests. Start the sustainable conversation early in the day and spend more time on Boxing Day relaxing instead of sorting plastics and bottles.

Leftover love
Ask guests to bring their own containers for leftovers. It’ll save on plastic wrap and make Boxing Day easier for all.

Stay up to date with all the events and activities happening in the city this festive season at cityofadelaide.com.au/christmas