10 top tips for a sizzling summer, sustainable-style

Sandy toes. Beers on the deck. Sun-cream stickiness. BBQ-scents on the breeze. Early surfs, salty smiles and holiday fun. Frantic present shopping...Seriously, who does not love summer?!    

Whether you’re making festive plans, staying coastal, or hanging poolside, bring a sustainable ‘sizzle’ to this silly season with these 10 simple ideas. It's about keeping our ‘hood (and planet) in top shape for endless summers to come. 

Looking after our place, it's second nature!

1. Waste-free gifts

Buy an 'experience' for a friend or family member for Xmas. Give away a paddle board lesson or tickets to a comedy show. There's no need to fiddle with gift wrap and better still, it's the stuff of good memory-making. 

2. Share the love

Global charities like Oxfam have an array of clever offers to support those that need it. You can give the gift of solar power to an East Timorese. Your loved one will be chuffed to know they've donated a chicken to an African family. If you buy Fairtrade, it means the people who made these products are getting a fair price. 

3. Pick up

No dating advice here, sorry! Just a sweet reminder that loving our beaches, streets and parks means taking our rubbish with us. Litter gets into our stormwater system and oceans, wreaking havoc on the environment. Try our new solar-powered bins at Bondi beach and Bondi Junction.

4. Clean up with care 

Swap, sell or donate your unwanted bulky household items. You can organise a free Council 'clean-up collection'. It's super easy - call Waverley Council on 9369 8080. Thanks for not dumping rubbish in our neighbourhoods.

5. Drink and reuse

Every year Australians throw away over a billion takeaway coffee cups, plus a stack of plastic bottles. So for your next steaming pick-me-up or thirst-quencher, grab a funky reusable cup or bottle instead. Many cafes even provide a discount for BYO cups. They make cool presents too.

6. Bag the bag 

Make your summer plastic-bag free. Plastic takes a load of resources to make, winds up in our oceans, suffocates marine life, and ends up in landfill for centuries. Use reusable tote bags to shop and support the BlueBondiGreen plastic bag free initiative.

7. Go native 

NSW Christmas bush explodes in red flowers every summer and is a lovely present for anyone with a backyard. Most good nurseries sell it, or head on down to Randwick Community Nursery to find the perfect living gift.

8. Join the Compost Revolution 

Over half of our rubbish that ends up at the tip is food scraps, rotten food and dinner leftovers. Join the Compost Revolution program to learn how to turn them instead into compost for your plants. It’s got be good if over 8,000 people in the Eastern Suburbs are already doing it. 

9. Join us at Summerama 

Have a fun and festive day out with us on 14 January at Bondi Beach. There will be vintage clothes up fro grabs in exchange for litter, a Trashion show, activities for kids, pop-up library, live music and more. Book here for free events.

10. Pedal power 

Beat traffic stress, burn calories and ride the breeze on your bike. If you don't ride regularly, summer is a great time to get back your cycling 'mojo'. Council runs free bike maintenance, rusty riders and cycling skills workshops.

Happy and safe silly season to all!  

Adapted from story published in Beast 

Image: Marina DeBris' Trashion Show Models