Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing great and excited that it’s December. Christmas is a special time of year to spend with your loved ones, so let’s focus on that this year instead of overspending. Don’t buy tat that will be looked at on Christmas day then never used again! Give gifts of experiences, plastic free items, and actually spend time with people! Click here to have a read of my blog post on Christmas gifts that you don’t have to buy!
Today’s blog post is about having a plastic free Christmas! These are some of the steps I am taking this year to avoid plastic and waste at Christmas. Why not make small changes yourself to help you have a lower waste Christmas?
Don’t buy gifts wrapped in plastic
This one seems so easy but when buying online and in big supermarkets it can be difficult. That is why this year I am buying all of my Christmas gifts from local independent shops. This not only lowers your carbon footprint and invests money back into your local economy, it also lowers the chances of that awful plastic wrap!
Instead of buying a fake tree and wreath etc. buy a real one. At the Little Green Larder, I have bought a potted Christmas tree, once Christmas is past it will go to my (parent’s) garden and next year it will be back at the shop.
I also made this beautiful natural wreath at our workshop with Bluebell and Birch. It’s totally plastic free and was so much fun to make! Annie also told us that after Christmas we can take all of the greenery off, compost it and leave the moss on the base to use again next year!
Buy sustainable gifts
As well an ensuring your gifts are not wrapped in plastic, you can also make sure they are not made of plastic. Why not buy wooden toys instead of plastic. Cosmetics in glass jars instead of plastic. Chocolate in compostable wrapper instead of plastic… You see where I am going with this. Check out your local zero waste shop to see what alternatives they have!
Do not go out and buy foiled or glittered wrapping paper, no matter how good it looks. Instead, opt for gift bags, material bags and brown paper! I save every single gift bag that is given to me. When I’m giving a gift, I go to my collection and choose one to reuse.
You can also try using recycled brown paper to wrap your gifts. You can use eco-friendly ink to stamp on then and wrap your gifts in them!
Reuse your Christmas decorations
Don’t go out and buy new lights and baubles every year just so you have a set theme. Just go with the flow and use what you have. I love the tradition of families buying 1 new special ornament every year and adding it to their tree. This way your tree is unique to your family and you will keep the pieces forever.
Make plastic free decorations
I am a huge fan of popcorn on trees. All you have to do is pop a pot of popcorn and thread it on cotton thread. Drape it round your Christmas tree, and voila. A great, plastic free natural decoration. Once it’s done you can compost it or leave it out for the birds to enjoy! Dried oranges and apples also look lovely on trees. Experiment and see what works for you!
Make your own crackers
Yes, Christmas crackers are a novelty, but do you really need them? Everyone knows that what is inside them is just rubbish! When I was a kid my dad used to make origami with us and it was so much fun. Last year, instead of buying plastic filled crap crackers I got ones that had origami paper and instructions in them and we all had fun making them! You can buy crackers like this or make your own. DIY crackers range from the easy, wrapping some paper round an empty loo roll tube to sewing reusable ones.
Fill a plastic free stocking
Do not buy loads of plastic junk to fill Christmas stockings. Things like that are used on Christmas day then discarded. Why not be traditional like me and put in a satsuma. You can put in lovely gifts that aren’t plastic, like a bamboo toothbrush, a jar of sweets, a bar of soap and more. Read my children and adults eco stocking filler blogs for even more ideas.
Buy loose fruit and veg
Christmas dinner isn’t the same without a satsuma in your stocking, crispy roast potatoes, golden carrots, parsnips and of course, sprouts! Don’t buy them packaged in plastic from a supermarket. Instead buy them loose!
Check out your local greengrocers or zero waste shop. Here at The Little Green Larder, we only ever sell our fruit and veg loose! When you sop locally you reduce waste, lower your carbon footprint and put money back into your local economy!
Use your leftovers
Ok, this is just a wee food waste one. Firstly, for Christmas dinner buy enough for only who is coming for dinner so you don’t have too much leftovers. And if you do have leftovers turn them into a new meal.
Chop up your meat or veg and turn it into a tasty pie for boxing day. Mash your potatoes and chop the veg, mix together with some spices and make some veggie burgers. Even just eat your leftovers as they are. Anything, as long as you don’t throw them in the bin!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and it has inspired you to reduce your waste around the festive period. If we all take a few steps towards a plastic free Christmas it will have a huge effect!
The Little Green Blogger