‘Tis the season for stuff! Fun things such as stuffing a turkey, stuffing a stocking, buying stuff, wrapping stuff and giving stuff. Unfortunately most stuff comes wrapped in plastic, which then has to be thrown away.
With so much going on at this time of year, it is easy to forget what the Christmas season is all about. Whether you are religious or not, many of us enjoy spending time with the ones we love, decorating our homes and, of course, giving.
What it shouldn’t be a time for, however, is plastic — be it cheap plastic toys, plastic containers, plastic wrapping or plastic plates, cups and cutlery. This is because not only does all this plastic end up being thrown away, therefore harming the environment, it ends up harming us too.
Plastic is in everything — the cosmetics we use, the food we eat and the water we drink, even bottled water. The more we consume products that have been packaged in plastic — especially if it has been heated up or sitting in the heat at some point — the more plastic can harm our health. The plastic crisis has got so bad that micro-plastics have even been detected in human breast milk.
Chemicals in plastic have been linked to a long list of terrifying health conditions including cancer, hormonal issues, infertility, diabetes and behavioural problems in children.
In this, the season of giving, give yourselves, your family and friends, and our environment an invaluable gift: a plastic-free Christmas.
Here are ten tips to help you to achieve this:
1. Choose home-made over shop-bought food: most pre-prepared or processed foods from shops and restaurants will be packaged in plastic containers. To avoid the unnecessary plastic, find a good recipe and try cooking from scratch. Get family and friends to pitch in and help. Ingredients such as vegetables, flour, butter, oils and spices can be commonly found in non-plastic packaging. When faced with a choice of packaging, choose glass or paper over plastic. Brave enough to cook with your children? Help them to make their own baked goods, such as cookies for Santa, from scratch too.