10 ways to use less plastic this Christmas
This is actually the second time I’m writing this as it decided to just not save after the first. I did originally start out by telling you about how cosy my writing set up was with fairy lights and Christmas candles. However, I’m now sat in a jumper feeling rather fragile after this weekend. But that’s another story.
Here’s 10 ways to use less plastic this Christmas:
Brown paper packaging. And absolutely tied up with string (it’s so pretty). Something I recently learned is that most wrapping paper is actually made from plastic and is not recyclable. However brown paper wrapping paper is recyclable, looks so great and festive and is a fraction of the cost. I picked up a huge roll in Tesco for around £1! It’s a super easy swap and helps save the pennies as well as the planet. This also applies with little present bags. You can get non-plastic options but if you have already bought some - try not to write on the label so that they can be re-used next Christmas.
Veg and Fruit. When you’re shopping for all the Christmas dinner trimmings, pop the loose veg straight into your trolly instead of putting it in those little plastic bags to then put in your trolly anyway. I’ve never really understood the point of the bags - you literally just have to send longer taking the groceries out of the bags to put in your fridge anyway. The carrots won’t run away - I promise.
Less packaging. Now, this point is actually a great one to help reduce plastic usage as it applies to everything. Similarly, with the fruit and veg, try to buy the loose fruit and veg instead of the pre-packaged stuff as this eliminates plastic usage altogether. It also applies to toys and other gifts. Go to the toys and presents with less packaging. You’ll start to see just how much plastic is used (wasted) next time you’re in the supermarket! Also - less packaging means less bin emptying chores so it really is a win-win situation.
Reusable bags. When I say bag for life I don’t mean the slightly thicker plastic bags hanging around the checkouts in Tesco - I mean genuine bags for life. Made from fabrics or other eco-friendly products. Did you know that we get through one million bags per minute across the world? That’s a lot of plastic to be eaten by little baby turtles and a lot of litter to wash up on to white sand beaches. Cute, reusable bags could also be a great stocking filler too.
Straws. I love me a straw but they cause complete devastation to wildlife. However, the great news is that there are so many alternatives. You can get metal straws that you can pop in the dishwasher and reuse pretty much forever. Along with bamboo or cardboard options. Some cardboard straws go soggy midway through your drink so make sure you pick up some good quality ones. Here are some metal straws from Amazon for £3.99 (8 pack). You can also get coloured metal straws too - like these - for £6.99. I’ve also just come across a portable straw which would make such a great Christmas present/stocking filler!
Beauty products. The beauty sector uses plastic like there is no tomorrow - think of your shampoo and conditioner for example. However, brands like Lush have shampoo bars that have 0 packaging. I’ve written a blog post about the one I use that you can read for more info. You can also use soap bars instead of packaged stuff and there are even recyclable toothbrush heads on Amazon (here) for Oral-B toothbrushes! Amazon also have bamboo makeup brushes as an alternative to plastic! I guess it’s similar to the packaging point I made - just look out for things with the least amount of plastic used to completely reduce your plastic waste. Lush really is a great place for this as well as Amazon.
Cleaning products. There’s always a whole lot of cleaning up to do after the Christmas dinner feast has been consumed and everything is sticky from the brandy custard and mulled wine. Mrs. Hinch has completely changed the whole cleaning thing which means everyone will be ‘Hinching’ their houses after the big day. The only thing is that she gets through so many sponges that are made from plastic and can’t be recycled. Instead, pop eco-friendly sponges into google and you will find so many great options. Just make sure you’re checking if things really can be recycled before you buy and if not - just put whatever it is you need into google and you will always find a better alternative.
Bottles. Reusable bottles are such a great invention and make for the perfect Christmas present. Some can be on the pricey side but I found such pretty ones in Harvey Nichols for around £15-£25. Like this one for example (it comes in loads of colours). Swell also have so many great designed - from avocados, to cool patterns, to sausage dogs. The swell ones keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold; which really is an added bonus to the fact they are environmentally friendly.
Reusable cups. Similarly to reusable bottles - reusable cups are becoming a huge thing. Mine is from KeepCup and I love it! they have so many colours to choose from and I now see so many people walking around the office with them. Mine was from Amazon but here’s the link to the KeepCup website. Their website is worth looking at even if you already have a reusable cup as it’s just a great website with cool colours and cup inspo (never thought I’d say that). One of these will also make for the perfect present as it’s the gift that keeps giving… You actually get up to 50p off per drink when using your own reusable cup in places like Starbucks and Friska. Cheaper gingerbread lattes in eco-friendly cups? Cheers to that!
Decorations and the big tree. Most Christmas decorations from your larger stores are unfortunately made from plastic. However, if you head down to a local Christmas market, independent shops or look on sites such as Etsy - you can find so many glass and wooden options! They might be more expensive but they are also more beautiful and will last you so much longer. As well as the fact they can be recycled so much more easily! Fake trees are also made of plastic and can’t be recycled. Treat yourself to a real tree as they are purpose planted (meaning no damage to animal’s habitats), smell amazing and just look way better. The needles also only take 2 minutes to hoover and the whole tree can be taken away by the recycling people after Christmas!
So, that brings me to the end of my ten ideas. I’m sure there are many more but I feel these are the easiest ones to incorporate as they’re just little swaps and good gift ideas too!
Let me know how you plan on using less plastic this Christmas.
See you in the next one,