1. Food Wrap
If, like us, you always find your fridge piled high with leftovers or half-cooked food, make like Judy on our Facebook page. She creates her own beeswax cloth wraps to keep food fresh without the need for plastic.
"Can be done in an oven, but I do it in the simplest way, grating beeswax onto fabric, placed on greaseproof or silicone paper (yes, I know, that's the not-natural bit), cover with another sheet of silicone paper, then iron using a low temp to melt the wax, ensuring that every bit of the fabric is covered. Smells lovely when it's being done. Use the gentle heat of your hands to seal it closed. Can be washed in cool water time after time."
And a lovely little DIY too! We will certainly be trying our own out this year; what a great idea.
Plenty of delicious veg is an integral part of our Christmas dinner and we wouldn't have it any other way. There is so much unnecessary packaging in supermarkets that it can be difficult to avoid at Christmas. We take our own fabric or paper bags to the supermarket and pick loose vegetables up instead of the overpackaged versions. Every little helps!
If you spot lots of unnecessary packaging in stores this Christmas, shake things up and tweet the @shop with #pointlessplastic to nudge them along.
Another method that we thoroughly enjoy here at Cosy Cottage HQ is to grow our own. Clare on Facebook reminded us about this one. Our potatoes are doing splendidly this year. It may take a little planning and thinking ahead but its definitely worth it. We think it's even tastier when they've been grown by us.
3. Hitting the Shops
Ready to hit the shops for some last minute presents or preparing to fight your way to the best turkey? Don't forget your reusable shopping bags!
It can be thirsty work but we will be bringing our reusable bottles with us and testing out this clever app that can locate where we can fill up on free water across the country. https://refill.org.uk/about/
4. Ditch the Tinsel
There are many alternatives to plastic decorations to try, both wooden and glass decorations can look really beautiful. There are a lot of gorgeous Christmas decorations we can make too. We have dried oranges and tied them together with cinnamon this year for stunning and fragrant decorations. Just slice up your oranges and leave them in the oven on a low heat for a few hours. Friends have also used waste paper to create snowflakes or paper chains to deck their homes. Others have made their own edible decorations using gingerbreads with a hole poked through tied up with string. We've even spotted some beautiful decorations made of strings of cranberries as a brilliant alternative to tinsel!
5. Ethical Gifting
As you know, we are very conscious of what we include in our products, leaving palm oils, additives and plastics out of the equation. Whilst bubble baths and other beauty bits can be lovely gifts, we'd suggest you check the ingredients for plastic microbeads or palm oils. You can find out a bit more about why we are omitting them from our products here.
Although they may be an investment, wooden toys are a lovely present for children that don't contribute to plastic pollution. We are sure the mother will be grateful for something beautiful that isn't such an eyesore either.
6. That's a Wrap!
Many wrapping papers actually contain plastics which mean they can't be recycled. Glitter on cards and wrap are also unable to be recycled as they're often made of plastic.
If you're wondering whether or not your wrapping can be recycled come Christmas, try this simple trick. If you scrunch it up into a ball and it quickly expands and opens back up, it probably contains plastic. Paper wrap will remain in a ball a lot longer. We hope this handy trick comes in useful for you!
When it comes to wrapping presents for others, there are lots of lovely options to pick from. Try a vintage scarf or a furoshiki fabric (Japanese fabric wrap as Jane at Alternatives to Plastics has suggested on Facebook) to tie around your present. It's a really beautiful way of wrapping presents munis the plastics.
If all else fails, twine or raffia ribbon and brown paper can work an absolute treat. Jennifer over on Facebook says it's her favourite way to wrap, she reuses hers too for other gifts or next Christmas. We like her thinking. The rustic wrap looks truly beautiful, we would highly recommend it.
So, there you have it. Our list of top tips for reducing plastic this Christmas. A big thank you to all of you who replied and sent us a message to get the ideas flowing, we love your tips. Is there anything else you do? Leave a comment below and we can test it out next week!