A Crafty Christmas

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…Whether you think it is the most wonderful time of the year or if all you want for Christmas is for it to be over, you can take steps for it to be the last Christmas that produces excessive waste, plastic or otherwise. With our top tips, you’ll wish it could be Christmas every day

 

Gifts

            • Wrapping: Whether you go with brown paper packaging tied up with string or a reusable option like cloth wrapping, gift bags or even reusing last year’s paper, try to find a way of avoiding plastic-wrapped, non-recyclable wrapping paper that just finds its way to landfill.
            • Peak Stuff: Many of us feel we have reached ‘peak stuff’ so why foist more ‘stuff’ onto others – consider buying an experience (e.g. a theatre or gig ticket, a spa treatment, a cooking/music/craft lesson) for someone. Give something edible (homemade if possible). Perhaps frame a treasured photo? Sponsor a coral. Make your own plastic-free hand balm. There are lots of choices!
            • Buy Right: Whatever you buy, use your £s, $s and €s as a vote to support sustainable products and the shops that stock them. Will it last or just be used for a few days over Christmas? Does it have unnecessary plastic packaging? Can it be fixed?
            • Secret Santa: One great way to reduce the number of gifts you have to buy (and receive) is to take part in a Secret Santa. Ideal for the adults in your family or group of friends! The time you save on not buying all those extra presents can be put into finding something perfect / sustainable / upcycled / handmade.

 

Decorations

            • Christmas Cards: Many people have stopped sending Christmas cards, preferring to send a digital festive message instead but for some, the ritual of sending and the joy in receiving a physical card through the post is still something to be treasured. It is exciting to see so many of the big supermarkets and shops selling their cards in plastic-free packaging this year – so there’s no excuse not to pick this option. Avoid glitter too as it renders them unrecyclable. We quite like the tradition of sending the same card back and forth to each other over the years..now that’s #reusing!
            • Ornaments: Decorating your house and tree doesn’t need to cost the earth (or oceans). Look after your decorations and use them year-in-year-out. What is the oldest ornament you have? Avoid flimsy, plastic decorations that will barely make it through one Christmas. Make your own Christmas bunting. Liven up your house with some real holly and ivy from your garden or a friend’s garden – you can compost it afterwards.
            • Crackers: Again, lots of shops have embraced plastic-free crackers, with some eliminating tatty plastic gifts inside them. Even better are reusable ones that you can fill with tailor-made (and sustainable) contents.

 

Christmas Tree

            • Real or Fake: Real trees are generally better than fake ones…but if you do have a fake one then use for as long as possible. Who knows, by the time it finally ‘dies’ there may be a more effective way to dispose of it or recycle it!
            • Grow your own: If you are going to have a real tree then consider getting a live tree and plant it back in your garden once the festive season is over.
            • Rent your tree: Renting Christmas trees is becoming more popular. A great idea if you haven’t got a garden to put it in or can’t care for it year-round.
            • Be Creative:  A Christmas tree doesn’t have to be an actual tree…Use what you have!

 

Food

            • Buy enough: Of course food is a big part of celebrating the festive season and it is no time for a diet or indeed showing much restraint at all, but on the other hand, buying food that gets thrown away is a horrible waste. Do you really need ALL of that food in your trolly? Great if you do and it will be eaten but don’t forget the shops are only closed for a few days  – so buy enough and have a feast but don’t buy what you won’t eat.
            • Veg out: We know you will be ‘vegging out’ watching films and eating snacks over the festive period but perhaps try a veggie option too. You may not be planning to ditch your traditional turkey but perhaps you could have a veggie option alongside (instead of a second meat dish or side dish)? Reducing your meat consumption is a great way to lower your carbon footprint.
            • Chocolates: Eating chocolates at Christmas is compulsory isn’t it? 😉But there’s so much non-recyclable packaging!  Some, like Fererro Rocher, have a particularly poor reputation while others like Quality Street (while not perfect) have developed compostable outer wrappers.

 

Listen and sing along with our 12 (plastic-free) days of Christmas video we made!

 

 

When it comes to climate change and plastic pollution the size of the challenge can appear to be overwhelming but making small lifestyle changes can make a big difference to the health of our oceans if enough of us do them. It can help us inspire others to make Wise Choices as well as help drive policy changes in both business and government.

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