We are SO ready for Christmas, how about you?
However, while getting into the festive spirit is a whole lotta fun, it also creates a whole lotta waste. According to House Beautiful, 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away every year, 6 million trees are discarded and one billion recyclable cards end up in landfill.
So it’s more important than ever than we all do our bit to be environmentally friendly at Christmas, which is actually a lot easier than you think. To get started, we’ve rounded up our top tips for going plastic free this yuletide, ensuring you can get merry without impacting the planet any further.
1. Go green with gift wrap
We all love a roll of jazzy wrapping paper, but many types of gift wrap are actually plastic-coated. Instead, switch the bold patterns for simple brown paper, which is cheap, plastic-free and recyclable – and not to mention looks super cute and festive! Finish with some coloured string and your gifts will look the part and help save the planet.
2. Keep your tree
Plastic trees are as common as real ones nowadays, but neither are good when it comes to being kind to the environment. Our advice? Buy a real tree that’s potted, rather than one that’s completely out of soil and sure to die within a month. A potted tree can be kept outside post-Christmas and will regrow next year, meaning you can use it again and again. They may not be the cheapest, but you’ll save money on buying a brand new one every winter.
3. Ditch the plastic decorations
Many Christmas decorations will be made from plastic, and while you can use them year after year, it’s even better to phase out buying them altogether. Try looking for wooden decorations or even make your own from old things you’ve got lying around the house. It’s amazing what you can craft from leftover fabric, cardboard or bits you find in the garden. Attach a bit of string to a pine cone to create fantastic natural alternatives to shiny plastic baubles!
4. Sense check your wish list
Want to ensure you don’t encourage people to buy you plastic presents? Be ruthless with your list and issue it to all your friends and family, along with the message that you’re going plastic free this yuletide. This should help stop a wave of unwanted gifts coming your way, although it can’t be completely guaranteed. Items like books or packaging-free cosmetics (we’re looking at you, Lush) are great, easy-to-source items to include, so you don’t make it any harder for people to shop for you.
5. Get your bake on
Many festive puddings and treats come in plastic packaging, which is thrown away the instant you sit down to tuck in. Instead, offer to bake dessert for the family this year, so you can control how much single-use plastic is involved. You’ll likely find you don’t actually need any, as you can transport your tasty treats in reusable boxes to cut out any waste. Win!
6. Be shop savvy
If you love to shop, you’ll likely know which stores deliver their goods in plastic packaging and which don’t. For example, Amazon products usually come in reusable cardboard boxes, while ASOS uses a mixture of cardboard and plastic packaging that can’t always be recycled. To get round this, either order several products at once to minimise the number of plastic mailbags used or try shopping in physical stores where you can take your own reusable bag.