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How to be more sustainable this festive season!

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How to be more sustainable this festive season!

The festive season has arrived! At the Two Oceans Aquarium, we adore celebrating our loved ones and spending time with family, especially the fishy ones…

The festive season is often associated with colourful wrapping paper and an awful lot of plastic. This year, we want to encourage our Aquarium family to think “blue” by giving meaningful gifts that don’t promote excess consumerism. The Two Oceans Aquarium is among the leading environmentally sustainable tourist attractions in South Africa, so we’ve got some fabulously festive ideas for eco-friendly gifting!

Here's how to make a difference this festive season:


  • Buy local and support community markets where you’ll find hand-crafted gifts for everyone.
  • Give indigenous plants as presents.
  • Add a personal touch by making or baking presents.
  • Include rechargeable batteries for battery-operated toys.
  • Advent calendars are a favourite for kids in a festive home, switch to reusable advent calendars which reveal sustainably sourced surprises.
  • Gift experiences, such as our Penguin Experience or a Discover Scuba Diving Experience, instead of material things!
  • Make a difference for an animal in need by adopting one of the turtle hatchlings undergoing rehabilitation with our Foundation's Turtle Conservation Centre.
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  • Reuse or repurpose ribbon, gift bags, wrapping paper, and cards from last year’s festivities.
  • Send e-cards rather than paper cards.
  • Use newspaper as an eco-friendly alternative to gift wrapping.


  • Prepare your festive meal with local organic produce and drinks!
  • Think about cutting down on meat for your festive meal or go completely meat-free.
  • This season often results in lots of food leftovers – plan your meals to lessen food waste.
  • Choose cloth serviettes rather than paper.


  • Decorate an indigenous tree! Once the festive season is over, plant the tree in your garden.
  • Collect natural materials, such as branches that have fallen to the ground, to create an alternative tree in your home!
  • Hang LED lights as they use 10% less power than conventional strings of lights.
  • Make your own: Salt dough is a fun way to shape, bake, and decorate your own ornaments!
  • Ornaments made from natural materials, such as dried orange slices or pinecones, are a great alternative to plastic tinsel and baubles.
  • Crackers are an iconic part of the festive season, but many sustainable alternatives exist. Why not make your own with toilet rolls and tissue paper?

We love the festive season – nothing is better than spending quality time with family and friends! We hope these tips will help you to make this season just a little bit “blue”!

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