Aussies keen on a sustainable silly season to help ease cost of living pressures

5 December 2023
  • As the festive season approaches, new research from Allianz Australia has revealed three-quarters (75%) of surveyed Australians are turning to sustainable practices to alleviate cost-of-living pressures.
  • While the majority of surveyed Australians (83%) agree that being sustainable during the festive season is important, over one-third have found it too hard to make sustainable changes (34%), with others noting they aren’t sure where to start (39%).
  • Australians are also motivated to be more sustainable during the festive season to help reduce waste (60%) and their environmental impact (47%).
  • Allianz Australia has partnered with DIY expert Geneva Vanderzeil to demonstrate practical tips to celebrate more sustainably this festive season.

Whether it's at home with loved ones1 or in the great outdoors2, Australians love to celebrate the summer holidays and the festive season. However, new research shows over half of surveyed Australians say the rising cost-of-living will affect how they celebrate this year3.

The research from Allianz found that one third of surveyed Australians are feeling cautious and more critical of their spending4 in the lead up to the festive season, leaving some admitting they can’t afford to celebrate at all5.

In an effort to alleviate these pressures, more than three-quarters of surveyed Australians are planning to turn to sustainable practices6, with saving money (72%), reducing unnecessary spending (64%) and waste (60%) as the top motivators for doing so.

Despite increased cost-of-living, the majority of surveyed Australians (83%) agree that it’s important to be sustainable during the festive season, with 47% of respondents motivated by reducing their environmental impact.

While Aussies are eager to learn7, many are still experiencing some barriers to being more sustainable. The research found that one-third of surveyed Australians say that being sustainable feels like too hard a task8, with many unsure where to start (39%)9. Additionally, two fifths of Australians10 feel that it is hard to be sustainable during the festive season as they try to keep up with trends each year, which requires additional spending or buying new items.

To help Australians get ready and find a balance for this year’s festive season, Allianz Australia has partnered with DIY and Upcycling expert Geneva Vanderzeil to create Sustainable Swaps, a new initiative showcasing tips and tricks on how to implement more sustainable practices during festive celebrations.

Geneva Vanderzeil said, "The holiday season is a time of celebrating and giving with loved ones, but that can sometimes mean creating a lot more waste than usual. From entertaining to travel and gifting, there are many ways to make small changes that together will make a big impact this festive season, and for more festive seasons to come."

For the upcoming festive season, surveyed Australians say they are planning to reuse or recycle old decorations (66%), explore sustainable wrapping options (60%) and cut back on disposable items (60%). Additionally, Australians would consider thrifting or buying second-hand decorations (54%) and sustainable gift wrapping (51%), and even ask their family and friends to share their old decorations so they can use them for the upcoming festive seasons (44%).

Shez Ford, Chief General Manager, Consumer at Allianz Australia, says, "Our research has shown us that creating a more sustainable festive season has been on the minds of Australians for some time.11 And better understanding how to easily make the change can be a major drawcard for most Australians.12

"At Allianz, we’re committed to showing Australians that making sustainable changes doesn’t have to be a large task – there are many simple swaps that anyone can make to lead a more sustainable lifestyle during the festive season and beyond."

The future is looking bright, with Australians keen to embed sustainable practices into new festive traditions13 in the hope they will be passed onto future generations14.

Head to to learn more about how to make sustainable swaps this festive season and summer holidays.

  • Swap a plastic tree for a living tree. Swap a plastic tree by decorating your favourite house plant or a festive native arrangement. You could even create your own tree using recycled materials through DIY and crafting.
  • Swap inefficient incandescent lights for LED and solar lighting - A simple swap this festive season. Check the lights you're using to light up your home and make the switch to LED or solar powered lighting. Because LED lights use approx. 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  • Swap online shopping for buying local - The carbon emissions and packaging waste associated with online shopping can build up over time. So why not shop local and support your community.
  • Swap gift wrap for gifts-as-wrap - Avoid the waste associated with disposable gift wrap by wrapping with a reusable tea towel, scarf /clothing, reusable drawstring bags, decorated boxes to be reused for storage, baskets/hampers.
  • Swap ‘having’ gifts for ‘doing’ gifts - Experiential gifts save on packaging, emissions, and clutter. To minimise accumulating more unnecessary clutter this holiday season, you could also swap a supermarket advent calendar for creating your own family advent calendar instead. Each day could include treats from home or activities like movie nights, supporting community events or making decorations.
  • Swap plastic table decor for reusable or biodegradable decor - Single use plastics pose a serious environmental problem, so swap out the plastic plates, cups, cutlery and decorations for reusable or biodegradable alternatives.
  • Swap a meat dish for a meat-free dish - With meat dishes having a carbon footprint between 10 and 50 times greater than equivalent meat-free dishes, swapping just one dish can make a small impact on your festive footprint.
  • Swap buying new for buying pre-loved - Consider buying gifts and other things you may need for hosting from online marketplaces or second-hand thrift stores, or even renting or borrowing equipment, such as extra tables, chairs, serving utensils, platters and decorations to reduce the need for new purchases.
  • Swap long journeys for stay-cations - There’s no place like home. Planning a trip designed to enjoy your local surroundings and natural wonders drastically cuts down on travel emissions during the holiday season. By appreciating green spaces in your community, you are ensuring their preservation for years to come.
  • Swap wasteful accommodation for sustainable stays - Whatever your budget or preferences, green accommodation options with full amenities are available to take care of you and the environment. Consider stays who work with local community members to reduce energy use and minimise waste.
  • Swap ride hailing services for walking, biking and public transport - A great place to absorb local culture is the sidewalk! Swapping car services for walking tours, biking, or public transportation is not only educational, but decreases road congestion and your carbon footprint.
For any media enquiries, journalists can contact our Media team.
Pureprofile, on behalf of Allianz Australia, carried out the research from the 6th to the 10th of October 2023. The study encompassed a sample of more than 1,000 Australians, ensuring national representativeness, with a demographic profile aligned with the 2021 ABS Census data regarding age, gender, and geographic location.
  1. 62% of surveyed Australians celebrate the festive season by going to a family or friend's house, and 55% host family/friends at their home
  2. 65% of surveyed Australians love to spend time outdoors during the summer holidays
  3. 63% of surveyed Australians
  4. 36% of surveyed Australians
  5. 2% of surveyed Australians
  6. 75% of surveyed Australians are motivated by the increased cost-of-living to be thrifty and sustainable during the festive season
  7. 82% of Australians surveyed are open to learning about new ways to be sustainable during the festive season
  8. 34% of Australians say that being sustainable feels like too hard a task during the festive season, so they don’t do it
  9. 39% of Australians are unsure where to start when it comes to being sustainable during the festive season
  10. 41% of surveyed Australians feel that it is hard to be sustainable during the festive season as they try to keep up with trends each year, which requires additional spending/buying new items
  11. 61% of Australians have thought about making their festive season more sustainable for a while now
  12. 78% of Australians would consider being sustainable during the festive season if they could easily make the change
  13. 76% of Australians want to implement new festive traditions to help minimise unnecessary waste e.g. food or gift wrapping
  14. 83% of surveyed Australians think it’s important to implement sustainable practices during the festive season so it can be passed onto the future generation
Allianz Australia has been securing the future of our customers in Australia since 1914. We deliver a wide range of personal and commercial insurance products and services to more than 4 million policyholders. We also provide support for workers' compensation insurance to around 25% of the top 200 ASX companies, making us one of the leading workers' compensation insurers in Australia.

Allianz Australia Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group. The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life, and health insurance to assistance services, credit insurance and global business insurance. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are among the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
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