It's Christmas and that means a few things; gifts, food, more gifts and more food. Over the festive season the UK creates 30 % more waste than usual, including two million turkeys and six million Christmas trees. There's no doubt it's a wasteful time of year, however there are things we can all do to reduce our footprint at this time of year and it starts. For more information join my group A Waste Free World on Facebook.
500 million straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone. That’s 175 Billion a year filtering into landfills (environment) and littering our waterways and oceans. Plastic straws are NO LONGER AN OPTION. Make sure everyone you know takes around a pack of steel straws with them wherever you go. A perfect small xmas gift are the Girls that Scuba pack of 3 steel straws in a cotton bag with 10% profits donated to Plastic Oceans.
Shampoo is one of life essentials, but it doesn't need to be bought in recyclable plastic bottles like 99% of shampoos are. Shampoo AND conditioner now comes in bars, some with absolutely no packaging at all. You can find shampoo bars in lots of shop and online but here's a great one to try out: Shampoo bar £6.00 Plastic Freedom.
Plastic free Deodorant
Yes, there is a plastic free alternative of your roll on deodorant - and it smells even better than the one you have now too! Earth Conscience are a UK based company who offer plastic free alternatives to every day essentials! We love them and what they stand for - and they make great stocking fillers! Plastic free deodorant £7.00
Think about it.. how many razors do you use a year? Full of plastic, recyclable and they pretty much never break down. A great alternative is a steel 'safety razors" a thing of the past coming back into the 21st century! You can simply change the steel blade when you need to and keep the razor for a lifetime! Steel Razor £14.49
Toothbrushes are another piece of hard plastic that never breaks down and are disposed off without thinking. Many wash up on beaches and lots get stuck in corals. 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away every year just in the US, almost 100% of those are plastic. An easy and cheap swap is a bamboo toothbrush. Buy somebody a pack of 3 and encourage them to continue buying bamboo when those run out.
Bamboo coffee cup
Takeaway coffee cups contain hidden plastic - and not just inside the lid. All takeaway coffee cup, although are 'paper/cardboard' are lined in plastic. Just think about it, how could you poor boiling water into cardboard and it keeps its shape? The problem with this is that the materials cannot be separated and therefore not be recycled. So every takeaway coffee cup you've ever used - the plastic is still on this earth somewhere. An easy solution is buying a re-useable one, and one not buy one that contains NO plastic. Girls that Scuba bamboo ocean coffee cup is made of bamboo and donated 10% of profits to Plastic Oceans. £11.99
Did you know glitter is effectively just little tiny bits of plastic? Impossible to dispose of, impossible to recycle, going straight into our ocean once washed into the sink. Each box of Eco-Friendly glitter you purchase goes towards a plastic-free future. Get your sparkle on while still being kind to the earth! These loose glitters are perfect to sprinkle all over your body so that you can SHINE through festival season! Eco glitter £8.60
Don't tell me you are still using plastic cling film to wrap your food? Where do you think that thin bit of plastic goes? On to landfills, into oceans, that's where. Exchange your cling film for beeswax cloths. I actually think they work 10x better, and they are 1000% more eco-friendly. They even come in cute patterns, easy to Whaleshark beeswax cloth £14 x 3
Periods shouldn't be harming our planet! Let's make them plastic free! Tampons - even without the plastic applicator - come wrapped in plastic and have small bits of plastic inside of them. Mooncups are the latest period trend! Read more about how they work here and help to create a waste free world! Mooncup £24
Plastic bags are a thing of the past - RIGHT? You're not actually still using them are you? Of course your not, this is why you will already own a fair few tote bags, and here's another great one for you. Made from organic cotton, with 10% of profits donated to Plastic Oceans, Girls that Scuba ocean tote bags are handy and make a difference. Get yours here.
First up, ask yourself "does this need to be wrapped" and think about how quickly that brand new wrapping paper (which came wrapped in plastic) is trashed. If it does need to be wrapped consider alternatives like:
-Brown paper - you can still decorate it with stamps or brown string
- Old newspaper/magazines
- Travel friend? Go into a charity shop and buy an old map and wrap your gift in the pages of the map
Also think, does it really need double wrapping (wrapped and then put in a bag). Think about the waste you are creating with your wrapping and do your best to reduce it.