It’s that time of year when we are simply awash in single-use plastic packaging generating tonnes of waste and plastic pollution. In short we all need less stuff'! Here are some top tips to ditch plastic and keep things eco-friendly this Christmas and help do your bit to protect the planet. The desire to buy more sustainable and eco-friendly presents to save single use plastic entering land fill and the oceans has never been so important.

A real Christmas Tree

Treat yourself to a real tree (preferably a potted one that you can grow for years to come) and embrace the stunning smell of pine in your home. If you don’t care for the needles chose a Nordic non-drop variety; you’ll feel much more festive, knowing you’re doing something great for the planet, too.

Refill a reusable

There are many reusable keep-cups for hot drinks, drinking water bottles available to refill your favourite drinks on the go and at work. The most popular way to cut buying single use plastic bottle pollution and remove plastic at source. Even though more and more drinks bottles are recyclable,  it’s a fact that they are littered before ending up in the recycle centres.

Shop local & cut CO2

Support your local retail community, especially on the back of the pandemic affects, for your groceries. Visit your local bakery or farm shop to shop Visit your local farmers markets and traditional greengrocers for your locally-sourced winter vegetables, also cheesemongers. Think about where food comes from, and the air miles and carbon footprint associated with food that has come thousands of miles. Seasonal goods grown locally come with a low carbon footprint and no plastic packaging. Take your empty containers and drawstring produce bags to buy loose items and ingredients. Food packaging is one of the worst offenders to the so changing your shopping habits will lead to a massive reduction in your wheelie bin contents. Buy tasty, fresh loaves plastic free from the bakers, and take your own air tight containers for meat, fish and cheese to supermarkets that have refill sections, such as Unpacked at Waitrose. Christmas and New Year is a time for food! With food everywhere and leftovers, let go of the cling film. Leftovers are better in a lidded container or jar, rather than a bowl with a single-use cling film lid. Alternative eco food coverings include soya wax or beeswax wrap, and these can be found in most supermarkets now. Although slightly expensive the more we use the more the prices will be driven down.

Gifts from nature

The world is full of beauty, right on your doorstep – and you can take full advantage of that when it comes to heartfelt presents. House plants is one of the fastest growing sectors in horticulture and have never been so popular, bringing joy in receiving. Bring the outside inside. There are so many independent plant shops springing up so support a local retailer at the same time.

Bags for life

Beautiful tote, jute and string shopping bags make ideal gifts. Whether it’s for the pre-Christmas food shopping or getting ready for the January sales a bag for life makes a thoughtful present, to keep.

Avoid metallic wrapping paper

Give a thought to your gift wrap. Avoid the glittery (plastic-based) paper which probably can’t be recycled although it looks great. Do the scrunch test. Thin un-adorned paper can be recycled and is cheaper. Better still give your presents a traditional feel and use recycled brown parcel paper tied in twine or non-plastic ribbon. Jazz it up some seasonal greenery rather than plastic bows and re-use last year’s Christmas cards for tags! Shredded paper is a great alternative to plastic bubble wrap to protect delicate items.

Wood & glass tableware

When entertaining, replace throwaway plates and plastic cups with china, proper plates, real or wooden cutlery and glasses that make drinks taste so much better, in order to easily cut plastic waste. You can hire glasses from m any sources these days if you don’t have enough.

Hot tap hack

Washing up features heavily over the next couple of weeks so try reusable, washable dishcloths for the bulk of it and invest in a reusable plastic-free scrubbing brush for more stubborn items. If you are thinking about treating your kitchen, then an instant boiling hot tap is really a handy way to soak dinner pans and trays and make light work of the festive dinner clean up. Check out our water cooler and boiling water tap seasonal offers. Treat your home or office kitchen to a boiling tap and save money, valuable energy resouces and time. Refill a reusable cup or bottle and help stop single-use plastic pollution. By adopting some good single-use plastic free habits, you can feel better about the new year and making change happen.