Christmas is a period of excess, and also a time many of us value convenience. It is no surprise then that plastic features heavily in the average festive household. A public poll from last year concluded that Brits bin more than 100 million bin bags full of plastic packaging from gifts and toys at Christmas. Is 2018 the year we take notice? Here are 10 top tips for cutting your plastic waste.
- Shop local and in-season for your grocery shopping. It may take more time than one trip to the supermarket but it is likely to be a far more enjoyable experience popping into the local farm shop and bakery to stock up on low-carbon, unpackaged produce.
- Boycott metallic wrapping paper and plastic ribbons. Choose recycled wrapping paper instead, or reuse your own newspaper and magazines. For family why not invest in Wrag Wrap? Produced from waste plastic, they are beautiful reusable wraps inspired by the Japanese art of Furoshiki and available in a range of shapes and sizes.
- Ditch one-use plastic straws for reusable stainless steel straws or bamboo straws.
- Choose a real Christmas tree. For full eco credentials this should be a living tree – a small one you can keep in the garden all year round!
- Collect objects from the natural world for the rest of your decorations. Sprigs of holly and other green foliage combined with pine cones and oranges, make for a festive and fragrant method of adornment. Oven dried orange slices are a natural way to fragrance your home.
- Wrap leftover food in Bees Wrap rather than clingfilm. Made from organic cotton, beeswax and jojoba oil, these wraps are reusable, washable, and if you don’t have a use for them anymore, compostable.
- Boycott plastic gifts. Here at The Ethical Gift Box we have a whole range of eco-friendly stocking fillers including twig pencils, sustainable elephant dung note pads, as well as some wonderful gifts which creatively reuse plastic waste.
- The more dishes you can cook from scratch, the less pre-packaged food you need to buy. But not to worry if you don’t have time to cook everything yourself as plastic-free alternatives are often available. COOK, for example, are working on a trial to replace their plastic trays with fully recyclable paper-based versions.
- If you are having a party, loan your glassware and plates rather than buying disposable ones. You can do this at many supermarkets including M&S, just book it in quickly!
- With a bit of research you’ll find a growing range of plastic-free products for make-up and beauty products. LUSH now offer stick foundation, concealer and blush, all packaging free. Other brands use wooden or recycled containers for everything from eye shadow to lipstick, and these are often refillable. Christmas beauty has never been so eco; and they make for great presents too.
Involving kids in a plastic-free Christmas is a great way to entertain them and spread the load. Let them help out with making things and decorating the house.
Do you have more plastic-free Christmas tips? Send us your ideas on twitter or facebook.