Local dad David Lamont, founder of Plastic Free Home, offers his tips on how we can enjoy a more planet-friendly season
‘Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more…” It’s not often that I quote the Grinch, but in this case Dr Seuss’ fictional character is spot on. Christmas is magical but it’s also a time of unnecessary waste. Here are our top tips…
1. Avoid the gimmicks
From pre-packed ‘reindeer food’ (what’s wrong with a carrot?) that’s bad for the birds, to Christmas Eve boxes, don’t get sucked in.
Think quality not quantity and avoid plastic. Wooden toys are popular again and look to ethical smellies, made from natural, cruelty-free and vegan ingredients. Give handmade gifts or experiences too – homemade nibbles, something knitted, a meal/afternoon tea.
Lots of wrapping contains plastic. It’s not an exact science but if you scrunch into a ball and it stays that way, it’s more likely it’s plastic free. Use recycled brown paper and/or reusable bags. Crucially, avoid plastic sticky tape! Paper tape is easy to buy online.
The obvious answer is to avoid them entirely but that may be easier said than done. Aim to buy cards that use recycled or FSC (sustainable) paper, free of non-biodegradable glitter, badges and plastic wrapping.
Again, you could avoid. Or make your own or source reusable. If buying, look for those that don’t contain plastic toys and are recyclable.
If you already own an artificial tree, use it for as long as you can. In need of a new one? Consider a real tree that’s FSC or Soil Association approved. Or even rent a real tree!
7. Advent calendars
Make or buy a reusable one and fill with homemade or plastic-free treats. Foil-wrapped or Divine chocolate are better. Keep it traditional.
Buy meat (and cut down) plastic-free from a local butcher, and veg unwrapped from a local greengrocer or farm shop.
Wine bottles with a cork are better than screwtop. If you’re buying beer, avoid plastic packaging and go for glass over cans. For soft drinks, swap plastic bottles for glass or cans.
10. At the end of it all
Recycle and dispose of everything correctly. If in doubt, look online, contact your council or us! Prep bags or boxes ready for things like cardboard and recyclable plastic. Donate unwanted stuff to a charity shop or food bank.