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Ideas for a plastic free festive season

The Plastic Free July Team | 18 December 2020

For many people the festive season is a time to get together with friends and family, celebrate with colleagues, and even exchange a gift or two. Many of our participants find creative and fun ways to enjoy this season while avoiding single-use plastic – we’re sharing some of these on trend ideas.

Deck the halls (with plastic-free decorations)

  • Lots of people invest in decorations that can be reused time and time again; think bunting, tassels, tissue pom poms, and lanterns, rather than balloons.
  • Fresh foliage and flowers can replace plastic table centrepieces and hole punched, or carefully crafted dried leaves is the new way to make some gorgeous confetti.
  • Kids and adults alike tell us that they love to make decorations from old fabric or scrap paper.
  • Increasingly groups on social media – such as Buy Nothing –  offer libraries of shared decorations to borrow from.

Gifts that keep on giving

  • Switching from disposable gift wrapping paper to wrapping in fabric, or even a reusable gift bag, feels like giving two presents in one!
  • Many people gift ‘experiences’, like cooking classes, vouchers for fun activities or tickets, as a way to reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ being exchanged. For those who live in areas where experiences are still limited due to the pandemic, creating homemade vouchers like ‘a day out hiking’, or ‘a picnic in the park’ could also work.
  • Shopping secondhand for gifts is a great way to avoid unnecessary plastic packaging. Many companies also make eco-friendly toys and gifts.
  • While impulse purchases at the check-out can be fun, they’re often the kind of gifts that end up at the bottom of a wardrobe.

Food, glorious food!

  • Avoiding groceries wrapped in single-use plastic is really catching on. Many Plastic Free July participants have started to shop at bulk food stores and bring along their own reusable produce bags for fruits and vegetables.   
  • People who try Plastic Free July often find themselves making their own dishes and avoiding pre-made food with wasteful packaging. Never attempted making a Christmas pudding before? You might find you have a knack for it (or at least get a fun story out of it to share at Christmas dinner).
  • The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry. With just a bit of planning, people manage to indulge without food going to waste. Buying less and embracing ideas for leftovers on Boxing Day seem to be the recipe for success.

Ideas worth sharing

As more and more people find ways to holiday with less waste and single use plastic, Plastic Free July invites you to take ideas from the website and share ideas on our Facebook page.

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What you can do to avoid plastic

Want some tips to find out how you can reduce plastic waste? The good news is, anyone can get involved. You can start out small, or really challenge yourself. Get inspired!

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