How to reduce the amount of plastic you use and give over the festive season

Part of the fun of Christmas is giving presents and seeing the curiosity and joy in people’s eyes.  Taking the time to wrap a gift carefully is a lovely way to add a personal touch and show the recipient you took care with your gift.

As with all products, there was a surge in gift wrapping that was single-use, plastic based, or covered in glitter. However, this Christmas there are some ways you can reduce the amount of plastic you are using and giving. 

Homemade crackers

Cardboard tubes such as those from kitchen roll or toilet roll can easily be used to make homemade crackers which you can personalise yourself.

You can make silent ones or add a cracker snap to make them pop – the choice is yours!

Simply fill a toilet roll tube with the cracker snap plus a small gift, sweets, or money (you can even add your own jokes). Then roll the tube up in brown paper, scrunch the ends, and tie up with a ribbon to keep them in place.

You can decorate the outside of your crackers however you like and they are ready to go with less of an environmental impact at the end.

Create your own festive wrapping

To reduce the amount of plastic-based wrapping you are using, try using brown paper or paper from old paper bags instead. Using brown paper as a wrapping option makes your presents look more rustic and personal, and lots of businesses get custom paper bags made for the festive season which have stunning designs on them perfect for wrapping.

Otherwise, you could use alternative wrapping such as fabrics, cardboard boxes, tins, or even wrapping paper saved from previous years if you’ve been really careful! To hold the parcels together you can use ribbon, string, or wool to tie them up instead of tape, or glue if you need something a bit more tough.

Leftover paper bags can also be used to make cute gift tags to add to your presents!  

Food, glorious food

If you are heading to a Christmas party or Christmas dinner this year and have been asked to take something over, try to steer away from using any single-use plastic wrap when transporting your offerings.

Instead, try using ceramic or glass dishes that you have in the house and if things must be covered then foil is a better option in terms of recycling.