The horrors of a plastic Halloween are over — it’s now time to switch gears to Christmas. But it that doesn’t mean we have to endure another overload of plastic.
Christmas can be eco-friendly and plastic free, but it does require a bit of planning. We’ve put together some tips to help you reduce your plastic consumption this Christmas. It all starts with making a list and checking it twice.
CHRISTMAS Gift Wrapping
It’s time to get that box of “Christmas stuff” out of the cupboard. Hopefully you have wrapping paper stored from last year. If not, when you’re seeking out paper this year look for FSC paper and one that’s not wrapped in plastic wrap. Out of sticky tape? Now is a great time to switch to a biodegradable tape. Or take it one step further and wrap your gift the traditional Japanese way. Furoshiki uses a single piece of cloth to wrap a gift — no tape required. Bonus: it looks pretty special.
Ribbon is nice but we’re looking to avoid plastic so unless you’re opting for a cloth ribbon, hit the hardware store and pick up some twine, this creates a nice, natural eco look.
Do you have Christmas cards you were gifted last year? Cut the cards to make your own unique gift tags.
Fire up the dehydrator — cut up the lemons and limes (and any other fruit you have available) and get drying. A slice of dried orange is a lovely addition to your gift or as a Christmas tree decoration.
Gift Wrapping Shopping List:
✅ Brown (recycled) wrapping paper or last year’s wrapping paper
✅ Biodegradable sticky tape
✅ Material for wrapping that extra special gift
✅ Twine and dehydrated lemons and limes for a natural touch
✅ DIY gift tags from recycled Christmas cards
ECO CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
Christmas decorations are usually pretty special items and are used year after year. When you’re adding to your decorations this year look for something that’s a) not made of plastic and b) something you know will last for generations to come.
Christmas Tree Decorations Shopping List:
✅ Plastic free
✅ Will create memories
✅ Will last for generations to come
Christmas parties is where we see a whole lot of plastic — some you cannot control and some you might not want to (aka boxes of chocolates or wrapped treats) but there are things you can do to lessen the plastic pollution impact — especially if you’re the host.
If you’re hosting a party this festive season choose to refuse and choose to reuse. We’re talking about all things here but specifically disposable cups, plates and cutlery. Sure it might be easier to clean up when you use disposable items but as Christmas is all about spending time with the family and friends, so is spending time in the kitchen. Washing dishes is all part of that quality family time — you won’t get that with disposables.
We know it’s common to put balloons outside the home, (or inside the office) to indicate that’s where’s the party is at — but this practice really need to stop. We’re lead to believe they're biodegradable, but balloons really are just single use plastic — especially foil balloons. Make a big paper sign, put out some lights — choose anything but balloons.
When you’re selecting your decorations for home or office parties — ask yourself: once Christmas is over will this simply be headed for landfill? If the answer is yes: put it back on the shelf. Natural items look great on tables, such as a bowl of nuts or cinnamon sticks wrapped in twine.
Decorating with scented candles are always popular at Christmas time — just be sure to buy candles that aren’t wrapped in plastic.
Small gifts for your guests are nice, and handmade makes them even more special. Bake some cookies and place them in a glass jar, add your homemade tag — it’s the perfect way to say Merry Christmas.
Now you’re all set with the gift wrapping, decorations and party preparations it’s time start shopping for eco-friendly gifts.
If you’d rather get the gifts before you even think about wrapping them, then bookmark this post and check back when you’re ready to get wrapping.
Looking for some plastic free gifting inspiration? Check out our blog post on Gifting without the Unnecessary Waste.
Enjoy the start of this crazy Christmas season — and remember to keep calm and keep it plastic free.
Author Bio - Catherine Anne Earle
Thanks for reading. I'm Cathy the founder of EORTH Australia, an online store that stocks only plastic free products.
I started EORTH after participating in a Plastic Free July many years ago. A few days into the Plastic Free July challenge I soon became aware of just how damaging plastics were to the environment, and although I was conscious of my consumer choices, products packaged in single use plastic and household products from of plastic materials were still very high on my list of purchases.
After lengthy searches for alternatives to plastic products I soon realised that there were a lot of eco stores that sold some plastic free products, but very few really got down to the heart of the plastics issues and said a big hard "no" to selling products that contained plastics — and that is exactly what EORTH is all about.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Management and was the owner and founder of Sun Peaks Independent News, a community newspaper based in British Columbia, Canada.
After moving back to Australia several years ago I now reside in Palm Cove a beachside suburb in my hometown of Cairns — the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.