5 Tips to Reduce Your Plastic Consumption This Christmas
With Christmas just around the corner, some of us will (or have already started) doing our Christmas shopping. Whether it's toys for the kids, gadgets for the guys or makeup box-sets for the ladies, there's usually a ton of packaging involved and, as you'll no doubt know from experience, this leads to a heap of rubbish to dispose of on Boxing Day.
Whilst the cardboard boxes that the items often come in isn't a problem, the huge amounts of plastic that's usually part of the deal certainly can be. We've written extensively about the dangers of plastic waste on our blog so, with this in mind, let's take a look and see if there are practical ways to reduce or even eliminate our festive plastic consumption this year.
1. Greeting cards - The individual seasonal greeting cards we buy each other typically come in plastic wrapping and we normally send a mountain of them through the post each December. Aside from the additional diesel pollution caused by the mail distribution network, the single-use plastic that cards are wrapped in will normally just get thrown in the waste bin. If this concerns you, then there are of course, much greener solutions. At the very least, you can eliminate the plastic altogether by making your own cards to send out. It can be time consuming but it's certainly more personal and your friends and relatives will love you for it. Better still, an even greener option is to send e-cards instead; no paper, no plastic rubbish, no recycling and a lot cheaper too! In fact, if you head on over to the Friends of the Earth Website, they're offering free Christmas e-cards. You'd be mad not to!
2. Wrapping paper - Much of the wrapping paper and ribbon we buy at Christmas actually contains plastic so do the earth a favour and opt for brown paper and string instead. You may also be pleasantly surprised with the really great rustic-looking results. If you're feeling creative, you can even use old fabric that you don't need or use anymore. You prezzies will look fab and each one will be totally unique - You can also be a bit cheeky and ask for it back afterwards so that you can use it for 2019 too :)
3. Plastic-free gifts - Aside from the packaging itself, many toys are often made of, or contain plastic. This is double-bad; consider hunting around for items that are made predominantly from wood or other biodegradable materials. Yep, we know, it's not easy and your choice of gift will inevitably be far more limited but if you're determined to reduce your plastic consumption, give it a go. Local craft fares are an excellent source and are packed with great items that are often made locally so you'll be supporting local businesses at the same time.
4. Check your smellies - If you're buying Christmas gifts such as creams, soaps and fancy bubble baths, keep in mind that may still contain dangerous microbeads so make sure you check the label first. You can also do away with plastic altogether with certain products; take a look at a recent post of ours where we review a Lush Shampoo Bar, and there's not an ounce of plastic in sight.
5. Ditch the plastic decorations - If you have old decorations that you use each year, then that's fine as you've already bought them, but try and avoid buying new items such as tinsel, chains and plastic baubles. If you hunt around, you can find many pretty items made from wood, paper and glass. You can even make your own and give your tree a real personal touch. At this time of year, red, green and brown are the predominant colours outside so why not bring some of the outdoors inside and use pine cones, twigs, small branches and of course, mistletoe.
There are many more ways to reduce your plastic footprint this Christmas 2019 and we hope the five tips above have inspired you to get cracking and unleash your creative side. We have many other articles on our site about the dangers of our over-use of plastics and the dangers it poses to us and to future generations. Please have a browse and follow us on our social media pages for more interesting and educational topics.