With Christmas just around the corner, you will inevitably come into contact with a stream of single-use plastics. They are everywhere – from party decorations to gift packaging and food wrap to drinks bottles. It can seem like an impossible battle, and you are probably thinking, “How can I reduce my single-use plastic footprint and will it make a difference?”
The answer is firstly YES – every little step WILL help and must be made by us all. Anything you can do will make a difference. Little steps lead us on the journey, which is better than NO steps.
Here are some small things that we think we can all do to reduce our single-use plastic footprint.
Try to minimise the amount of plastic packaged food that you buy. We know it’s difficult to get away from everything, so any little change can help. Look for the ‘plastic free’ aisles at your local supermarket, find out if there is a local ‘zero-waste’ shop in your area or visit your local market once a month. Swapping just one shopping day a month is still reducing your footprint. Take the challenge and try and buy all your Christmas feast with as little plastic as possible!
Food waste is also a big issue – one you can reduce by only making what’s needed and freezing the rest for a quick mid-week meal. Take an extra 10 mins at the end of the Christmas dinner and see what you can freeze. Obviously take into account what you’ll need for boxing days bubble and squeak!
This is probably an easier one. Everyone loves a gift with a story, and what better story than a handmade gift from someone local to you. So buy local this year and make a small business owner happy. Make sure they are an eco-friendly company and that they use minimum plastics. You’ll find loads of lovely gift ideas at your local Christmas craft market.
Or buy useful things like a fancy water bottle or a fashionable re-useable cup.
Another option is, and we love this one, buy an ‘experience’. Tickets to the theatre, a gig, cooking workshops, music vouchers, art courses – gifts of memories which last a lifetime.
We have a driftwood tree which we decorate every year with glass and wooden decorations. We have a kitten for the first time this Christmas so maybe the glass decorations won’t be put up this year! My sister always bakes gingerbread cookies for her tree and lets the children decorate them (they don’t always last until Christmas though!).
If you do decide to go for a real tree, get one in a pot which can be kept for next year. If you do get a cut tree, make sure it’s from a sustainable source and is put in the garden recycling in January.
Instead of tinsel, you can find greenery from your garden or local florist. Fabric or paper bunting homemade or bought and of course can be used for years and years.
You can even use our glistening eco glitter craft kit (newly launched) to add a touch of sparkle to your tree and decorations.
Christmas cards & wrap
I haven’t bought wrapping paper in years and always try to find weird and wonderful discarded newspapers, maps or magazines to wrap gifts for my loved ones. A plastic-free party bag company we know makes gift bags from newspapers in other languages and they look so super cute.
I reuse ribbons time and time again on gifts and often add a little piece of greenery or mistletoe to add some flair. Gift labels can be made from the last years’ Christmas cards and you can add a touch of our eco glitter to make them unique to you.
Christmas cards maybe plastic-free but they do consume a lot of the planet’s resources in the making process. We suggest to send fun e-cards to your wider friends and keep the physical cards for your nearest & dearest.
We are sure you can think of loads of other ways you can make a difference, we have just picked a few. Remember, a few little changes WILL make a difference and help us to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste produced this Christmas.
Take the challenge, try and go as ‘plastic free’ as possible this Christmas!
By Sophie Awdry, Co-Founder, Eco Glitter Fun
Looking for inspiration for plastic-free gifts for your loved ones this Christmas? Why not check out Eco Glitters gift guide here: https://www.ecoglitterfun.com/single-post/2018/11/29/Vegan-eco-friendly-Christmas-gift-guide-from-Eco-Glitter-Fun