The Best Gift in the World, that won't cost the Earth

A Gift that won't cost the Earth! is all about considering the environment when you do your gift shopping; whether it be for Christmas or for other significant celebrations throughout the year.

Did you know, of the $50 billion that is spent by Australians on gifts around Christmas approximately $700 million is expected to go to landfill by the following February.

At Christmas Australians buy more, travel more and eat more than at any other time of the year. To help reduce the environmental and financial impact of these festive activities, Planet Ark offers 12 simple, positive actions - the 12 DOs of Christmas.

Randwick Council is working to help communities reduce our overall impact on the environment.

The following gift ideas are aimed at encouraging meaningful gift purchases for your household during the festive season and beyond. Why not consider one of these unique ‘green’ gift ideas and give the best gift in the world.

Solar savings

Capturing our abundant free energy from the sun is a gift idea that won’t cost the earth. With a solar hot water system, you could get between 50 and 90 per cent of your hot water for free or you could save money and energy generating solar power.  Randwick Council and Origin Energy are working together to help residents, businesses and schools save on energy costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by installing solar panels or upgrading their energy appliances. For more information check  

Solar gift

Compost bins and worm farms

Composting and wormfarming are great ways to cut down on organic waste going to landfill and create rich healthy soil for your garden or pot plants.

Randwick, Woollahra and Waverley Councils are working together helping households save tonnes of food going to landfill. Join the Compost Revolution this festive season and give a gift to yourself, your friends and the environment. Get 80% off a Compost Bin or Wormfarm with FREE Delivery by completing the on-line tutorial.

Composting gift


Cycling is a great way to get healthy and enjoy the local environment. All you need is a roadworthy bike, a helmet, comfortable shoes and some pedal power.

Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils are working together helping our communities become more cycling savvy and healthy through our cycling skills and bike maintenance workshops and through improving the cycling network across the Eastern Suburbs.

Why not consider a bicycle, one of our cycling workshops or a cycling map as a gift for you or members of your family? Cycling maps are available from each of the Councils.

Cycling gift

Local food connections

Every day, more and more people are shopping smarter, eating healthier, and enjoying an abundance of freshly grown produce.

Buying fresh fruit and vegetables on a regular basis and connecting with others in the community is a great way of reducing packaging to landfill and promoting our social future.

Fresh food gift ideas include organic and chemical free fruit and vegie gift boxes that are supporting local farmers and; memberships to friendly not-for-profit community organic buyers groups, buying fresh produce in bulk from the wholesaler on behalf of their members.

Food gift

Water savings

Thinking of new gift ideas that will help save our Planet’s precious resources?

Why not buy water saving plants? The Sydney Water Plant Selector makes it easier to choose plants that are suited to Sydney’s soil and weather conditions.

Or you could Install a rainwater tank and supplement around half the water used around your home or simply WaterFix ® your property and reduce your water use by about 21,000 litres a year, simply by fixing leaking taps and toilets and installing water efficient appliances.

The WaterFix ® Program offers a range of fixed price, fully inclusive services by specially trained plumbers who will assess your home and ensure your gift of saving water keeps giving.

For small to medium businesses, Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils are working together, through the Sustainable Business program to save water. Registering in the program is free. Simply fill out the registration form and a project officer will contact you, or email your business name and contact details to

Water gift

Local charities

Giving granny a goat? How about a sense of wellbeing that your gift giving is going towards tangible benefits for needy communities?

Browse the extensive online catalogues for your unusual donation. Once you have chosen your pig, blanket, bicycle ambulance, donkey or whatever resonates with you or your giftee, you will receive a card describing what you have purchased and to which community in what country the gift has gone to. Amazing! At a broad range of prices, this could be the coolest and most unique gift to date.

Charities gift

Chooks and bees

Keeping chickens in the backyard has lots of benefits and done properly will reduce kitchen and food waste and reward you and your garden in many ways for years to come.

How about giving a dozen home ‘chooked’ eggs to your neighbour as a gift or bake a cake from your freshly spun eggs or Rent-a-chook in your backyard for 6 weeks, including chickens, a chicken coop and educational support.

Considering bees? As an urban beekeeper you are supporting urban pollinators, helping them survive the threats from introduced insects that are destroying honey bee populations worldwide.

Contact the Urban Bee Hive, established to support bees and pollination in urban Sydney or the Amateur Beekeepers Association formed over 50 years ago for some tips.

Chooks and bees gift


Car sharing is a convenient and reliable way for Eastern Suburbs residents to use a car when they need one, without the cost and hassle of car ownership. Cars are parked nearby, and can be booked online for an hour or a day.

You can join as a member and you’ll get 24/7 access to a range of cars parked in your local area.

Carshare gift

Energy saving

Saving between 10 and 20% on your power bill is a great gift for your family budget and a smart gift for the planet. Start with getting a home assessment to tailor your savings or why not share information about Government energy and money saving programs including the new NSW Government free smartphone app, Smarter Choice Cost Calculator. You’ll learn the true cost of running an appliance over its lifetime, which can often amount to more than the purchase price.

Energy saving