Plastic-Free Student: Plastic-Free Christmas

I’m Dreaming of a white plastic-free Christmas…

So, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas and like many people I think It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year – the decorations, the gifts, the food! But after seeing how much plastic I use in an average week (check out: My Plastic Diary), I can’t bear the thought of how much I’d use over the festive season so this year I’m preparing early.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree… Firstly, decorations - the most obvious being plastic Christmas trees! It would be a big ask for some to swap out their fake tree for a real one, especially as they’re cheaper, tidier, and have more even foliage. But if you’re looking to make a change this Christmas it could be something you could consider, plus, nothing beats the smell of a real pine tree.

Other decorations to consider finding alternatives for when you’re beginning to Deck the Halls are tinsel and baubles. Tinsel could be replaced with wired ribbons or paper chains, whilst plastic baubles can be replaced with glass, wooden, or felt ones! I managed to find some lovely ones at my local Christmas market, but you don’t have to leave your house to get some – there are loads online.

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If you’ve read My Plastic Diary, then you will have seen that most of my single-use plastic waste comes from food packaging, for which there is little that can be done to avoid it in most cases. One option is to head to your local market place where you can select your own fruit and veg, they often use brown paper bags, or you can take your own. Using a farmer’s market to get your fruit and veg this Christmas, is not only saving the environment from plastic but also from all the processing and travelling.

Another area to think about is all that gift wrapping! There’s so much choice these days with wrapping paper, but it’s best to avoid plastic or foil coated, as they can’t even be recycled. High gloss wrapping paper can be recycled and other wrapping papers can even be composted! One option could be putting your gift in a cardboard box, filling with a little tissue paper, and securing it with a ribbon! I love receiving gifts tied with a ribbon, and always save it and use it for my future gifts, AND it means you don’t need to use Sellotape. Did you check out Plastic-Free Me’s Christmas competition? Members of the public were challenged to share their most eco-friendly and plastic-free Christmas wrapping ideas using the hashtag #pfmxmas. Though the deadline for submissions was 20th December, you still have a chance to vote for the winner until the 24th December here.

So, to those of you who celebrate Christmas: I hope you have a Holly Jolly Christmas, and to those who don’t – happy holidays!