Christmas in Darwin

How to Build a Sustainable Float

Written by
A Very Darwin Christmas Team
Read time
3 minutes

Never mind decking the halls, this festive season we’re focused on floats! We may not have boughs of holly trees here in Darwin, but we’ve got plenty of palm fronds and other sustainable resources that you can use to build your ‘A Very Darwin Christmas Pageant’ float.

Expressions of interest to register a float for this year’s Pageant are now open, so to get an idea of the project you’re about to take on, you might like to start by reading our blog on ‘how to build a float at home’.

Let’s Get Sustainable

Sustainability is all about using resources in a way that’s smart, kind to the planet, and considerate of the future. It’s about being mindful of the materials you use, how they are made, and how quickly you use them up and throw them away. The goal is to protect our plants and animals, and to make sure there are enough natural resources for future generations to use and enjoy. Sustainability is the gift that keeps on giving if ever there was one.

There are many ways to plan a sustainable Christmas Pageant float. One method is to reuse or upcycle things that already exist. This helps to minimise both the resources and energy used in manufacturing and transporting new materials, as well as the amount of rubbish needlessly going to landfill. Here in Darwin, we’ve got plenty of places that will help you build sustainably. Visit your local Vinnies, Red Cross, and the Shoal Bay Recycling Centre, and of course, have a look around your own home or out in the shed and yard. Could you use fallen palm fronds as your float’s tropical fringe? How about collecting leaves and flowers to add details to your float?

Cardboard and nontoxic paint could be your sustainability saviours. Large boxes can be painted and cut to shape to decorate your float. This gives the cardboard a second purpose before being thrown out. Be mindful that if it’s been painted it can’t be recycled, but as long as you’ve used nontoxic paint, you will still be able to compost it.

For materials that can’t be sourced by reusing, upcycling, or repurposing, you can try to choose sustainable options. Avoid buying new plastics and foams and instead choose metals, timbers, and paper products. Look for reclaimed or sustainably sourced timbers, or consider using bamboo.

Future Darwin Christmas Pageants
Finally, build with the future in mind. Could you build something that can be modified and used again next year? This is the essence of sustainability. If it can be reused and enjoyed for Christmases yet to come, we’ll have a very merry planet.

The More the Merrier
On the top of our wish list is an even bigger and better Christmas pageant than last year’s. We are so excited to see you and your sustainable float at the second ‘A Very Darwin Christmas Pageant’. Luckily for us, it’s not too far away.