Links and notes from our meeting: Tips for a Plastic Free Christmas

On Wednesday 18th November we held a fantastic Zoom meeting featuring Ruth Strange from Ethical Consumer magazine facilitating a discussion on tips for a Plastic Free Christmas. In this blog post we will share all of the links and notes shared at the meeting.

Ethical Consumer articles
Just a few of the responses to the question: Why do you want to reduce plastic use? / What motivated you to engage with this issue?
  • “David Attenborough’s Blue Planet! I think I started off with mooncups & fabric pant liners & then went a bit mental about it.”
  • “Initially from my work with Dan from Everyday Plastic got me interested. I’m now very keen to set a good example for my kids”
  • “The environmental impact”
  • “Concerns about the ocean, wildlife”
  • “As part of low impact living generally”
  • “An incredible amount of littering”
  • “Right thing to do for future of our planet”
  • “It affects absolutely everything I buy and use now”
Responses to the question ‘What Christmas plastic do we need ideas for replacing?’
  • Sellotape
  • Packaging
  • Wrapping paper
  • Glitter
  • Crackers
  • Decorations
  • Food packaging
  • Selection boxes
Some solutions to this:
  • Sellotape now sells ‘plastic-free’ sellotape – Waitrose/Asda?
  • Paper tape
  • Brown paper for wrapping and decorating it with pens/ink stamps/potato stamps
  • Wrapping without glitter
  • Fabric wrapping / old head scarves
    • Furoshiki – the Japanese art of wrapping presents in reusable cloths/scarfs
  • Make fabric bags for presents
  • Use reusable cotton drawstring bags
  • Use fabric bags you get with bedding as bags
  • Use newspaper or magazines for wrapping
  • Use old maps for wrapping paper
  • Using last year’s calendar as wrapping paper
  • Use loo roll packaging for wrapping
  • Use old cards as gift tags
  • Keep selling the ‘pop’ element of crackers so we can make our own and they can still ‘pop’
  • Make your own crackers
  • Instead of crackers, write a bad joke each
  • Plastic-Free crackers – supermarkets selling these including Morrisons, Asda, Booths. Asda sells empty plastic free crackers so you can fill them yourselves
    • Kids to create mini artwork as cracker fillers
  • Competition to make hats out of wrapping paper
  • Paper chains
  • Make bunting from scrap materials / old fabric
  • Collect colourful boxes from cereals etc. through the year to cut up for Christmas decorations
  • Collecting and drying leaves/pine cones/holly/berries/oranges/cloves/natural items for decorations
  • Decorations made from salt and flour (saltdough) baked and painted
  • Willow for wreaths
  • Popcorn, cranberries and gingerbread biscuits strung around the tree
  • Wine is plastic free!
  • Go to butchers and greengrocers and bring your own containers
  • Make food from scratch rather than buying in products wrapped in plastic
  • Online advent calendar – every day a different activity to do, like colouring, baking, subscription to a magazine
Ideas for #PlasticFreePresents
  • Start with ‘The Ethical Hierarchy of Gift Purchasing’
  • Buy second hand gifts
  • Buy a tree to be planted
  • Planter with bulbs
  • Packets of seeds
  • Grow your own loofahs!
  • Compostable plant pots – (someone bought a borage plant in a coir pot from Nottcutts)
  • Make your own plant pots out of newspaper
  • Drying veg in a dehydrator as gifts
  • Food hamper of fair trade food
  • Cook Christmas Dinner and give that as a present
  • Baking biscuits / cakes
  • Make your own Xmas puddings
  • Share old LEGO instead of buying new
  • Make your own body care and cleaning products
  • Reusing containers like washed ketchup bottles with refilled shower gel
  • Favour vouchers – e.g. run a bath, make a coffee, bake a cake, cook a meal, buying jigsaws, baby-sitting, dog walking
  • A music lesson with a piano teacher – focusing on The Snowman theme
  • Experiences like days out – treating people to things they might not have treated themselves to
    • Zipworld vouchers – they are OK to use for 2 years and were 2-4-1 last week
    • Theatre tickets
  • Gardening vouchers
  • Quizzler – quizzes and games subscription
  • Charity Water – they encourage people to donate their Christmas present money to the charity which digs wells and puts in pumps and taps
  • Toilet Twinning – Pay £60 to have a toilet built somewhere and get a framed picture to put in your loo
  • Get a Kiva loan – micro finance for people who can’t get a loan from a bank
Upcoming event

Wednesday 2nd December, 11.30am
Will COVID-19 break or build our bond with plastic?

https://www.policy.manchester.ac.uk/activities/events/policymanchester-presents-in-conversation-with-dr-helen-holmes/

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