More tips for a plastic-free Christmas
As the festive period comes around again, we wanted to share some tips on how to avoid unnecessary plastic waste and instead how to help our oceans and beaches this Christmas time.
Why not try wrapping your gifts in re-usable material this year, instead of traditional wrapping paper. You can buy amazing material designs from local sellers, which form part of the gift itself, meaning your loved ones can keep the wrapping and re-use it next year for their gifts! Etsy.com has a massive range of re-usable wrapping from independent sellers that would be perfect for the job!
Say no to glitter
John Lewis, Waitrose and Morrisons have all committed to banning glitter on own-brand festive products this year. Look out for these more sustainable festive alternatives in supermarkets and local shops which won’t contribute to the microplastic crisis facing our oceans.
As with wrapping, crackers are often filled with unnecessary plastic which ultimately may end up in our seas, harming the marine life. There are plenty of plastic-free cracker alternatives available online, including from Notonthehighstreet and in supermarkets. Keep an eye out!
Experiences or donations rather than things
Perhaps it’s time to consider whether you need to buy a physical gift for your loved ones this year, or instead whether they would appreciate either an experience to look forward to, or a donation in their name to a charity that is important to them. (We heard that the Marine Conservation Society is a good choice). Perhaps a gifted weekend stay near the beach, a perfect relaxing getaway when UK restrictions allow… and you could even encourage them to do a mini-beach clean-up while you’re there.
Instead of buying new decorations every year, and adding to the plastic overload, why not get crafty and collect materials from your surroundings to help make your home feel festive? Leaves, twigs or even holly from your garden would be perfect to create your own wreath or decorations for your tree, without the plastic waste! The pebblemag has a great guide on how to make your own sustainable, eco-friendly wreath
A Christmas meal… but plastic-free
We know how stressful the festive period can be, and pre-ordering the food online can seem like the easiest option. However, excessive plastic wrapping on Christmas food options may well end up in our oceans. Buying local, from a butcher or fishmonger is a great option. Get organized and plan the meal in advance, buying your sprouts and other vegetables at a farmer’s market or zero-waste fruit/veg shop which will help reduce waste without too much extra cost. Plan your quantities as much as possible to reduce food waste as well! Organic cotton bags can be used in lots of supermarkets to buy produce, instead of using single-use plastic bags.
Whilst the UK enters another lockdown period, trying to shop locally has been made almost impossible in person. However, there are online equivalents to Amazon, even if most of us are guilty of resorting back to it for a quick gift purchase.
• Wearth London
Launched in 2017, this sustainable gift website is super easy to use and has a massive range of gifts available that will help reduce our impact on the planet this Christmas. 10% of the sales on certain products are even donated to the Marine Conservation Society. The website has a ‘plastic-free’ gift section for you to browse, with 80% of their products made here in the UK. On each product, the packaging used for both the product and the postage is made clear.
• Christmas markets… on Facebook
Find your local Christmas market ONLINE this year. Facebook groups have been set up in the place of physical Christmas markets this year, where local sellers can advertise their products/gifts. This is a great way to support local businesses at this time and also a lot of them tend to be eco-friendly or homemade.
• Marine Conservation Society shop
Browse our shop through our website to find some amazing gifts for your loved ones. Buying gifts this way will donate essential funds to our work doing beach cleans and surveys, helping to protect our oceans and the wildlife that lives within them. There are marine calendars, water bottles, toiletries and sustainable food wrapping available to gift to your loved ones this Christmas.
Have a wonderful plastic-free Christmas from all of us!