Tips for a more eco-friendly Christmas

Christmas will be different for many people this year, however it is still important to be as sustainable as possible. It is a well know fact that Christmas is a time of increased waste. All that wrapping paper, excess of plastic packaging on all those gifts, the many coffee cups bought simply because of the Christmas imagery printed on them and so on, so here are my tips on how you can have a more eco friendly holiday this year.

  1. Consider which Christmas tree you buy and what is better long term
  2. Make your own cards or if you are buying them make sure they are sustainably sourced and don’t include glitter – as these cannot be recycled. You could also buy plantable cards.
  3. Make homemade gifts or shop locally so you are supporting small businesses
  4. Don’t overbuy food that you will not eat just because its Christmas
  5. Use sustainable wrapping paper such as brown paper – lots of wrapping paper come with glitter on which means it cannot be recycled
  6. Re-wear last years Christmas jumper or look for a second-hand one
  7. Gift experiences – this gives the recipients the chance to create memories
  8. Buy eco-friendly crackers
  9. Invest in a reusable advent calendar – this can be used for many years and even passed down through generations
  10. Switch to LED lights, there are better for the environment long term

Belle

Plastic swaps

By 2050 there will be more plastic in our ocean than marine life. This will also mean that more and more organisms will face death and the threat of extinction due to our own pollution in their oceans, something needs to change.

In theory, the solution to the problem is extremely simple, we need to reduce the amount of plastic we use and that will subsequently decrease the amount of plastic in our oceans. The problem with plastic is that it does not decompose, every single piece of plastic ever created still exists in the world. In the sea these plastics breakdown in the sea and form microplastics.

Marine organisms will end up consuming it or become entangled, leading to death. Species of turtles and whales are facing extinction because of us. In the very near future there may be no more sea creatures left, simply due to the effects of plastic and we will lose a beautiful and essential part of our ecosystem.

HERE ARE SOME EASY PLASTIC SWAPS:

  • Loose vegetables
  • Bamboo toothbrushes – they are completely compostable
  • Stainless steel water bottles – these are available everywhere now and keep drinks cold for 24hrs and hot drinks warm for 12hrs.
  • Reusable coffee cups
  • Stainless steel straws
  • Reusable cotton pads – I love these bamboo ones from My Little Eco Shop
  • Notebooks – my favourite are dingbats notebooks, all are vegan and sustainable  
  • Shampoo and conditioner bars

These are just a few swaps you can make to make a difference – if more people just do one plastic swap it will have a significant impact on our planet and we can see our oceans eradicate plastics for good. You do not have to go and do every single one of these steps to make an impact. Just one of these swaps will help reduce your plastic consumption by a considerable amount, more than you realise. The time is now to save our oceans or otherwise they will be past repair.

Belle

Small changes to fight plastic pollution | Saving the planet

The past year the environmental impact of plastic waste has become evidently clear. Single-use plastic is causing a serious problem, such as harming wildlife specifically marine wildlife such as turtles, whales, dolphins, and seabirds to name a few along with polluting the ocean. It has become an issue that I am extremely passionate about and since doing a university assignment on it have become increasingly aware of the many alternatives available instead of plastic.

I feel it is an issue that will be impossible to solve unless everyone changes their attitudes towards plastic consumption. Here are some easy ways in which you can reduce plastic pollution in your everyday life. 

1. Use a reusable coffee cup
Coffee is a go-to for most people’s busy lifestyles including me. I always get a coffee when heading into university. My favourite coffee cup is from the brand keepcup. Many coffee shops give you a discount for bringing a reusable coffee cup, preventing waste and saving the environment.

2. Reusable bags
You will always find a reusable bag in my handbag. I find they are useful for everything. My favourite ones to carry around are the paper chase ones. However, you can purchase these types of bags anywhere now and if you decide to pop into the shops you always have a bag on hand so do not have to pay 5p for one.

3. Metal straws
When I stopped using plastic straws I first started using cardboard straws, these are great however will go soggy in your drink and aren’t good for someone like me who makes a drink and drinks it for ages out of a straw. Then I discovered stainless steel straws which honestly are amazing, and so small and convenient to keep in a handbag for whenever you might need it. They can also be purchased from most retailers I bought mine in Asda but you can get loads of different styles on Amazon too.

4. Reusable bottle
For Christmas, my mum actually bought me a daisy print Chilly’s reusable water bottle to go with my blog theme and I absolutely love it. These water bottles are great as they keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for 24 hours. Fill your water bottle up before you leave the house and refill when you find a water station (or alternatively ask a café to do so). You’ll never have to buy a plastic bottle again!

5. Bring a lunch box
If traveling even if it is easier to buy food, this is usually contaminated with plastic packaging. Making meals at home and bringing out leftovers avoids plastic packaging and is a great way to save money. 

6. Say no to plastic in supermarkets
Often when buying fruit and vegetables from the supermarket, they are contained in unnecessary plastic packaging. Therefore, I find the best thing is to choose loose products. Whenever I purchase items such as peppers, tomatoes, bananas, etc and just put them in my basket without getting a plastic bag for them.

7. Reusable bathroom items
Face wipes – Avoid using face wipes. Face wipes contain non-biodegradable plastics which will harm the environment. There are many alternatives available such as flannels that can be used with the same effects.

Reusable cotton pads – Honestly this is one that I have not yet tried but it is something I have been doing research on and am planning to do in the future. They work in exactly the same way as single-use pads and can be used many times. 

If you would like some more tips on how to reduce your plastic consumption there are many Facebook groups that you can join that offer helpful information along with tips and tricks and living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Belle