Top Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Waste This Christmasby Charlotte Zealey
Plastic is something which we are trying to reduce in our house. As some of you may know we have managed to make the switch to reusable nappies and wipes which have a lot of plastic. We have noticed that we have tried to cut a lot of plastic out of other elements of our life. As you can imagine Christmas means that there is a lot of plastic waste. This is only going to increase as now we are a family of 4 and this Christmas. Since Troy is going to be getting more toys as he comes up to 2. Today I am going to be sharing with you some tips which will help you reduce the amount of plastic you use. Even if you manage to reduce even a little bit of plastic waste it is going to help. Small changes of course and some of these are super simple to make.
Swap your wrapping paper
Wrapping paper is something which we end up with tons of as you can imagine with two children. I do not think it helps with having a child whose birthday is straight after Christmas as well. In the UK alone we have 227,000 miles of wrapping paper used for Christmas alone. Now as you may know a lot of the wrapping paper can be recycled which is amazing. There are now companies that are bringing out wrapping paper that does not come out in the shrink wrap. This means that there is less plastic to throw away. I am going to be hunting some of this wrapping paper if I need some this year. I usually purchase wrapping paper the year before when it is cheap and store it in the loft. If you want to make sure that it is going to be able to recycle the wrapping paper make sure that it does not have glitter or bows as they cannot recycle sadly. This is something to keep in mind when you are purchasing wrapping paper. Alternatively, you could use brown paper or fabric instead this means that they could either recycle it or reuse it.
Glitter Free Cards
Sadly, glitter is something which stays for every which is not something which we want. Glitter can end up in the ocean as you know there can be a lot of glitter on the decorations. However, cards can be something that ends up covered in glitter. You can find cards that are not covered in glitter. This means that you are going able to recycle them. This year for the few cards which we do send we are going to be making sure that they do not have glitter on them. We try and buy ones which are for charity as well because it helps them raise funds. If you are making your own with the kids you may not want to ditch the glitter or not use as much.
Also, remember when you are looking to get rid of your Christmas cards after the festive period. You can cut them up and keep them for gift tags for next year. This is something which I would do if we received enough cards. This is also something which you can do with the kids after the festive period. Of course, this is free and saves you money for the next festive period.
A lot of us add a small number of new decorations to our house. Now some of these can be made up of a lot of plastic such as tinsel or some of the baubles which can be. Instead, why not try and get either some of the decorations second hand. This means that nothing then is having to be made. If you do want to purchase something new you can always try to
get glass ones or wooden ones which means that there is not as much plastic is been used. We may purchase one or two new decorations each year however, we do not replace everything unlike some people do.
I know their temptation to have an amazing Christmas cup from either Costa or Starbucks can be very tempting. However, if you do want to try some of the festive drinks. Why not take a reusable cup this is something which I try to do. Then there is a little bit less guilt because there is not the same amount of plastic than if you actually have a throwaway cup. This is something which you should be able to do all year round. This is not just a swap which you can do over the festive period. Plus, you can save money as a lot of the retailers offer a small discount when you take your own cup.
I must admit this is something which we rarely end up pulling I think we have had the same ones for around 3 years. Recently I saw a stat which stated over 40 million Christmas crackers end up in the bin on the 25th of December. With a shocking 95 per cent of households explaining that they throw their Christmas cracker gifts in the bin almost straight away. A lot of these are plastic items that come out of the Christmas Crackers. Why do we think we need them when all we do is put the items in the bin? Instead of purchasing Christmas Crackers why not make some of your own with the kids then you will be able to get in the cracker items which you actually want. Plus, it can be a lot of fun maybe this is something in the next few years is something which I will do.
Plastic Free Gifts
There are so many different ways in which you can make the gifts a little bit more plastic-free. This year we have purchased a lot more wooden toys for the children rather than plastic. This is something which we have decided to do because they last longer and there is not as much plastic cluttering up our house. If you are not able to purchase wooden toys, I know they can be more expensive for one or your child may be a little bit too old for toys. There are other elements which you could do for example if your child wants a game for their console could you possibly purchase it second hand. This is something that we have done which Jess this year to be honest. Even some of their wooden toys are second hand this year.
If you are purchasing for adults, could you get them a gift that is more of an experience? This is something which we have done in previous years and again we plan on doing it again this year. Of course, this means that is not as much plastic as there may be if you purchased them a gift set. We have also made out own gift sets for people purchasing the items individually not only can this be cheaper than purchasing a gift set it also does mean that we do not have as much plastic for the recipient to deal with. This is something which we have done again this year and it has gone down well in the past as well.
These are just some of the small ways that could reduce plastic during this festive period.