It's that time of the year again, where we are all looking for Christmas presents for loved ones. Not easy to find the perfect product at the best of times, but when you are also challenged with the task of going plastic-free this Christmas, your efforts need to be more than doubled!
My aim is to have a low plastic Christmas this year, as a strategy toward being completely plastic free in 5 years time. My theory here is that it's better that most of the population of the world aim toward lowering our plastic footprint than just a tiny proportion of us doing it completely perfectly. A bit like dieting... there's no point in setting out for an unrealistic crash diet that's going to be short-lived and gonna lead you to binge eating cakes and chocolates in the very near future. I'm in for the long-haul, and am taking things slowly and sensibly, so that my habits and behaviours (and indeed practices going on in wider society) have time to catch up and work in tandem; it's more likely I'll have more of an impact as an individual if I commit to slow changes over a the whole of my life, rather than a fistful of faddy changes that I can't maintain.
What will I keep doing that I have been doing for a few years now?
1) "Brown paper packages tied up with strings!" Using brown unwaxed and uncoated wrapping paper, I wrap all the presents for my friends and family in this. It looks fab under the tree - you can always decorate with stamps or little drawings.
Here's a paper roll that actually comes with twine included. All biodegradable.
2) Asking friends and family to consider buying me and my son products that are low in plastic or contain no plastic at all. Plastics are toxic to the environment and human beings alike, and gladly there has been more awareness given to this in the last couple of years - that's made it easier for people to understand why I am asking in the first place. I really really don't like to be ungrateful, but cringe slightly if my son is given something plastic as a gift (especially if it is something he's likely to put in his mouth or eat/drink from, or plastic toys which have been known to leech out harmful chemicals undetected by the naked eye). You can find low and no plastic alternatives for your children and family in my shop.
What will I do for the first time this year to reduce my plastic footprint?
1) Handmade gifts. To be clear, I always make some gifts at this time of the year, but this year I am trying some new gift ideas and more of them! I'm going to make (a) Lotion Bars (b) Herbal Bath Soaks using flowers and herbs from my garden (c) Lavender Bags with family initials, using material scraps I already have and lavender from my garden. I hope my family don't read this, else they know what to expect! :-) If I get a moment, I shall write out some instructions / recipes for this lot. I've used the following eco-friendly, non-toxic muslin bags for my Herbal Bath Soak.
2) Reusable advent calendar. Last year my Mum gave my son a beautiful wooden advent calendar that you can refill every year with exciting new goodies.
There are some more brilliant ideas from Friends of the Earth too.
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