PLASTIC FREE CHRISTMAS
How to have a plastic-free Christmas this year
The holiday season sees a huge increase in plastic use! From decorations to gifts to packaging to clothes, there is a lot of plastic involved! Here are a few tips in how to minimise the use of plastic during the holiday season!
- Buy presents that people will use/will like. Don't buy "fillers" just for the sake of buying something if it will just be thrown away after one use if at all. If you don't know what to get someone, gifting in donations is a thoughtful gesture. Think of a cause they support, and donate with them in kind. Alternatively, gift vouchers at their favourite independent stores lets them choose their gift in their own time while supporting local!
- Avoid gifts that are single use, such as single face mask sheets in plastic wrap. Instead find organic face mask creams/pastes that can then be washed and wiped off with reusable organic cotton face wipes.
- Think about wrapping, use what you already have. If buying new, avoid glitter and foil paper that cannot be recycled. And get creative with paper craft or dried flowers/leaves/pine branches/cinnamon sticks!
- Rather than use cellotape that cannot be recycled, think about alternatives such as securing with a wrap of twine, or go fancy with origami techniques! Another option would be to use fabric pieces as wrapping, that can be knotted closed. The fabric itself is a gift and can then be reused on whether as wrapping again, or for craft work etc!
- Buying all the Christmas food and trimmings means there is an excessive amount of plastic use! Minimise where you can by shopping in places that sell veggies loosely, and take your own reusable shopping bags to get it all home.
- We won't be able to go fully plastic-free with food packaging, as food like meat need to wrapped up securely for food safety. So try to go plastic free in other areas where you can such as fruit and veg. Oranges and bananas already have a natural protective skin, they don't need to be placed into a plastic bag!
- If you're hosting, check that all the guests actually want the traditional food stuffs. For example, I have a group of friends that don't like mince pies, so at least I know I don't need to buy any of those for the day!
- The tree - a continued argument of whether real or artificial is better! I won't get into the facts of each, but what I will say is if you choose to go for artificial, make sure it will be reused year after year. If you choose real, make sure it is from a reputable place that re-plants and cares for natural areas properly. You can purchase ones in pots, or ones to plant in your garden which can be kept alive with care and decorated every year. Otherwise, please dispose of your real tree properly at the end of its life.
- While tinsel and all the sparkly things may seem enticing, they cannot be recycled into new materials, so make sure they are stored well after Christmas to be used next year, and the next!
- Get crafty and make decorations out of paper and recyclable materials, or use salt dough. This can also be great activity to spend time with younger people, and get creative. They can be stored carefully and be reused year after year, and may even last long enough to tell stories with later in life!
- Use dried fruits that look great as individual hanging decorations or in garlands.
- No need to buy need extra decorations to place around the house, you can add little touches to existing decorations you have already. For example, an animal ornament could have a handmade Christmas hat added to it; photo frames can be draped with garlands; vases can filled with pine cones/dried fruits for a festive touch etc
- Most importantly, look after decorations well to be reused year on out!
- People tend to buy something new for the festive season, even though it will be worn less than other items in your wardrobe! If you have something red or green in your wardrobe, you can wear that for the festive season, or add a fun accessory to an outfit to uplift it!
- Christmas jumpers may seem fun but are generally made of acrylic, a plastic that will not biodegrade, and will leach out many microplastics in washing. An alternative would be to make up festive pieces such as a mini felt Santa hat, a bauble, reindeer etc, and attach it to an existing jumper. Or a thin garland full of decor bits can be worn as a necklace for extra fun!
- Rather than buying new, can you borrow and swap with friends? Or buy secondhand.
- Make or buy clothes from sustainable fabrics that won't cost the planet! Choose fabrics in colours and patterns that can also be worn throughout the year, not just for one holiday season! Take a look at our fabrics available here at A KIND CLOTH!
Get creative and use what you have. Look after what you have carefully to be reused, and encourage others to do the same. Do what you can, but remember the most important is to have fun and look after each other whilst doing so!
Browse our store for planet friendly gift ideas for sewers in your circle!:
- Sewing patterns: we sell patterns suitable for beginner sewers to the more experienced 'advance' sewers!
- If the choice of sewing patterns is too overwhelming, how about TAUKO magazine, which not only includes patterns but is also full of inspiration for the mindful sewer.
- Threads make great stocking fillers for sewers!
- Or how about a gift card so they can choose what they want for themselves! (Available in various denominations).
Wishing you all a festive plastic and waste free Christmas season!