Monday, 4 January 2010

A plastic-free Christmas?

It occurred to me this year just how much we use plastic in the disposable bits of Christmas - namely wrapping.  So I determined to try to reduce the amount of it I used.  So, how did I do?  Well, I still used sellotape (sorry, sticky tape) and paper to wrap up most of the presents.  A few got wrapped in homemade fabric bags, tied with a fircone glued on to a pipe cleaner.  The beauty of this system was that the tag could be threaded onto the pipe cleaner, and it made a nice Christmas decoration once off the present. 

The fabric bags themselves were an attempt to find an alternative to cling film in which to package sweets (homemade fudge and the like).  In the past when giving these sorts of gifts, each piece has been individually wrapped in cling film, a very tedious, and plasticky, process.  I thought about boxes, but didn't have time to make that many.  So fabric bags it was.  I think I made six in all, out of red gingham material so they could be reused for anything (plus its cheaper than Christmas material).  I think they looked pretty cool (eco-chic maybe?!) but I think some in the family were a bit bemused!  I stuck to paper for the kids, after all, what's Christmas if you can't rip the paper off presents?

Next year my goal is to abolish the use of sellotape so that the paper can at least be recycled, or even (horror of horrors) reused if it's big enough.  I have abiding memories of my mother assiduously cutting the sellotape off wrapping paper on Christmas afternoon so that the (usually very crumpled) bits of paper in the middle could be reused the following year.  How come it never occurred to us not to use sellotape in the first place?

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