1. Shop at Local Businesses and Buy Australian Made Products
Christmas is notorious for bringing out the consumer in all of us. While you’re doing your shopping these holidays, we challenge you to look past well-known commercial brands and to find one special gift sourced locally. Thousands of Australian businesses struggle to compete in a market that is saturated with cheaply made goods, often the result of underpaid workers overseas. Look for the Austrlian Made tag or search for brands online that are locally run. In doing so, you’ll be supporting home-grown businesses and the Australian economy.
2. Volunteer Your Time
Often the holiday season provides a little extra time for us to do those things we’ve wanted to do all year. Charities and non-for-profit organizations can always do with a pair of extra hands during busy periods and can be a fantastic way to give back to your community in a practical way. Head to Go Volunteer to search for upcoming volunteer opportunities in your local state in areas such as animal welfare, health, homeless support or disaster relief. Whether you donate a day of your time or organize to go with friends, it can be extremely rewarding to do something altruistic in helping organizations that rely on the help of volunteers.
3. Donate to Local Charities
If you don’t have the time to volunteer these holidays, another beneficial act can be donating to local charities. This can be achieved through a monetary donation or alternatively, go through your home and gather all the things you no longer need and donate them to charities such as the Brotherhood of St Laurence or the Salvation Army. These organizations are always in need of products and while you’re simply doing a spring clean, it can make a big difference in the lives of the people they are helping. As well as this, another way to donate could be to put together a box of canned non-perishables and give them to a local charity or shelter.
4. Support Local Artists
As an up and coming artist or musician, the hardest part can be getting noticed. If you have some spare time over the holidays and feel like doing something different, why not go support a local artist in their creative element. There are always events such as art exhibitions and live music concerts by local artists looking to make their mark in the industry. Jump onto Google or Eventbrite and search for local events to get behind local artists in your community.
5. Give Green – Plant A Tree
Looking to be more eco-friendly these holidays? Why not buy a tree or plant from your local nursery and plant it in your garden. While it’ll brighten up your home with the greenery, it’ll also be lessening your carbon footprint on the world. If you’re feeling really green thumbed, start a compost heap by recycling all of your organic household waste, in turn enriching your garden’s soil by lessening the use of artificial fertilisers. Clean Up has all you need to get started. Instead of adding more concrete to the planet, give something back to Mother Nature these holidays.
6. Adopt A Pet
Many of us are lucky enough to have families and friends who care about us and make sure we’re okay. Just like humans who need connection, love and affection, so do animals. While adopting a pet isn’t a spur of the moment light decision, if you have the means to take care of an animal, then adopt a pet from your local pound or The Lost Dogs Home. Pets bring a unique sense of joy to our lives, so if you have genuine love for animals then take in a pet that needs a good home.
7. Pledge to ‘Go Green’
We understand that everyone is entitled to living a lifestyle that is right for them and those around them. However, the meat industry isn’t the nicest of places. We challenge you to do your research by watching documentaries such as Earthlings and find out where your meat is coming from. Then, if you feel comfortable have a month of going Vegetarian. Shop at local farmers markets, buy beautiful organic fresh fruit and veggies and try to live a sustainable plant based diet. For additional information on living a Vegan lifestyle, jump onto PETA.