Zero Waste Maman gives us her top tips for a sustainable Christmas
Friday, 22 November 2019 | Admin
All I want for Christmas…is less waste!
Looking back over my Christmas editorial for 2018 I can see how much I have changed even since then! Whilst I don't want the spirit of Christmas to change, I do want to encourage everyone to make a note on the consumption that ensues over the festive season. In the UK we create a staggering 2.12 billion tonnes of waste PER YEAR, this rises by 30% over Christmas, so I want to encourage every single one of you reading this article to celebrate mindfully this festive season with these Top Tips;
I love all things natural for decor at this time of year so my first bit of advice is to go natural with decorations rather than buying new ones. Ramble, forage, for sprigs of fir, twigs and branches and pine cones make beautiful additions to your Christmas home. Do you need another bauble on the tree thats made from plastic?
Hunt in charity shops and car boots. I am afraid tinsel and glitter are most definitely out! But you can add some bling by getting creative, make a garland from old necklaces that you can refashion. I also collect ice lolly sticks throughout the year to make stars to hang on trees with red ribbon. If you buy new, buy quality and preferably local handmade more artisan decorations, not those mass produced from China. Farmers markets, Bazaars are super shopping spots, Supermarkets are not.
Great ways to tackle the zero waste gift challenge is creating handmade gifts, shopping for pre-loved second hand gifts, giving experiences instead of physical gifts or giving gifts that aren’t swathed in single-use plastic. Kilner jars jammed packed full of homemade sweets are great as gifts that can be nibbled on when you’re watching the plethora of Christmas movies we all love at this time of year or how about giving packets of seeds so that the person receiving them can plan when and what they can grow the following year. Not plastic free I know but thoughtful and sustainable.
I used to buy the prettiest wrapping paper, that was shiny or glittery then spend hours gift wrapping, not worrying if the paper could be recycled, as I wanted Christmas day and giving to those I love to be extra special. It can be still but without wrapping paper or sellotape, you just have to be inventive use brown paper, newspaper, fabric or scarves you can find in charity shops, what you don’t have to do is contribute to the 108 million rolls of wrapping paper we use in the UK. One way to check if it can go in your recycling is to do the scrunch test, if it stays scrunched up you can recycle it, if it’s glittery or laminated it can’t be recycled by the Council.
This is the easy part to swap for plastic free. Buy local, use your own containers when buying meat, take your own produce bags when buying vegetables and think if you really need a plastic cased mini mince pie when you can make your own. Buy in bulk where you can, a kilo bag of rice rather than the 500g. At the office party, make sure you don’t use single-use plates/cups/cutlery. If it means taking your own, great! cut down on unnecessary waste.