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Australians dreaming of a green Christmas

Published on 18/11/2019

ING launches new “good gift” creator to help Aussies buy sustainably this silly season

This year, Aussies are dreaming of a ‘green’ Christmas, according to research commissioned by ING, with more than half (57%) of those surveyed saying they’ll be giving sustainable gifts and nearly a quarter (23%) preferring a socially-conscious or eco-friendly present under their own tree.

The research suggests that one third of Australians believe that Christmas is the most wasteful time of the year, supported by the revelation that an estimated 10 million unwanted gifts were received last Christmas, coming at an environmental cost, as well as financial.

41% of the respondents agreed ill-considered gifts were a significant contributor to the problem of waste during the festive season, with a quarter (26%) now preferring to direct their friends and family towards the gifts they actually want, rather than risk unwanted gifts going to waste.

Despite the best intentions, the majority of people (60%) suggest it can be difficult to find sustainable gifts and that’s why this year, ING is launching the Good Gift Creator – which allows the user to compile a gift list of sustainable and socially-conscious presents from Aussie social entrepreneurs supported by the ING Dreamstarter initiative.

Melanie Evans, Head of Retail Bank at ING, says: “Every Christmas the shopping frenzy results in tons of unwanted gifts going into landfill. It’s only natural we want to spoil our loved ones during the festive period, but this year we wanted to show people how the perfect gift can result in less waste, both environmentally and financially.

“ING Dreamstarter helps launch and grow start-up eco or social businesses looking to make a real difference in the community, by providing funding and support to help them achieve their ambitions and become financially sustainable.

“The Dreamstarter Good Gift Creator helps Aussies find and share sustainable gift ideas, with something for every member of the family at a range of price points. From Team Timbuktu’s activewear made from recycled plastics to reusable bamboo straws from The Other Straw, Aussies can select what they really want, so gifts avoid the rubbish bin – and due to their eco or social-benefit credentials, they’re gifts that give back!”

Topping the list of the most unwanted gifts uncovered by the research were novelty items (51%), candles (40%), pamper products (40%), pyjamas or slippers (35%) and underwear or socks (32%)

The ING research also revealed:

  • Hey, big spenders: Holiday gifting is costing around $79 billion each year, with respondents buying 5.5 gifts on average, each costing an estimated $54.36.
  • Holiday spending: Research shows 36% of Aussies want to be more mindful of their holiday spending this year, with 22% of respondents admitting they always overspend and 34% planning to take advantage of pre-Christmas sales when buying gifts.
  • The most wasteful time of year: One third (31%) of respondents admit it’s hard to avoid single use plastics over the festive period, with the biggest drivers of holiday waste including excess gift packaging (65%), wrapping paper (61%), single use decorations (56%), food packaging (59%) and leftover food (55%).
  • Aussies favourite festive gifts: Experience or activity gifts top the list (38%), closely followed by clothing (33%). For men, techy gifts are also popular (37%) and jewellery is high on women’s wish lists (36%).

To find the perfect sustainable gifts, or nominate preferred gifts to share with family and friends, Aussies can visit the Good Gift Creator and online store at, or visit the Dreamstarter Good Gift pop up store at Westfield Bondi Junction from 25 November.



Notes to editors

This survey was commissioned by ING and conducted by YouGov in October 2019. The sample comprises 1,079 Australians aged 18+ years distributed throughout Australia.

For more information contact Deanna Rose on 0413 317 225 or

About ING

ING changed the way Australians bank 20 years ago by launching the country’s first high interest, fee-free online savings account. Since then, we’ve brought continued value to customers with home loans, transactional banking, superannuation, credit cards, personal lending and insurance.

ING manages $42 billion in savings and $45 billion in mortgages and is Australia’s most recommended bank, with the highest Net Promoter Score of any Australian bank. Source: Nielsen Consumer & Media View Feb’19-July ‘19 (n=11316) when compared by customers of 18 other banks operating in Australia.

About ING Dreamstarter

ING Dreamstarter is helping launch and grow start-up social businesses looking to make a real difference in their communities and the world. By providing much-needed funding, raising their business profile and supporting them with the knowledge to build financially sustainable businesses, ING Dreamstarter is helping these businesses make a lasting difference.

About Dreamstarter Good Gift Creator

The Dreamstarter Good Gift Creator is an online generator where Aussies can find and share sustainable or socially-conscious gifts. The Dreamstarters offering gifts this year include: Words With Heart, Will & Bear, Crema Joe, Raise The Bar, Team Timbuktu, Surf Sock, Fergus & Delilah, GoKindly, The Social Outfit, Seljak, The Other Straw, Bravery Co, Ahimsa Collective, Beard Season, Amber Drop Honey, Byron Bay Bath Bombs.

The Dreamstarter Good Gift pop up at Westfield Bondi Junction on level 1 (outside Bailey Nelson) will run from Monday 25 November – Sunday 8 December, then open again from Monday 16 December – Sunday 22 December.

Media Enquiries

Megan Landauro
ING Public Relations Lead
0413 317 225

Peter Gurney
Head of Stakeholder Relations
0417 633 467

60 Margaret Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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