How did 2018 fly by so quick? I cannot get my head wrapped around the idea that it is almost Christmas. But it is, and I love Christmas. I love the gifts, the food, the carols and the mulled wine.
The only thing I don’t enjoy so much about this season is the overspending and the amount of waste we can create. Plastic toys are so cheap that children end up with many more than they can play with. I see families that cook way too much food and half of it ends up in the bin. New decorations every year to suit the new fashion, because god forbid if Father Christmas comes and sees the same stockings from last year!
We need to think about the impact we are having on the world and how we are going to leave it for our children. Here are 5 small changes to reduce your waste this Christmas.
I have only found out this year that most wrapping papers are not recyclable. The way to know is easy, try to scrunch some of it in your hand. If it does scrunch, good it can be recycled! If it bounces back, put it in the general waste bin.
A solution to this is buying brown packing paper. It is cheap and it can be recycled. You can decorate the paper with a stamp, or the wee ones can draw some Christmas motifs on it! This will make it unique and personal.
There are so many toys that are used for a couple of months and then are left forgotten. Children tend to have more toys than they need. Consider not gifting more toys this year.
Instead, you can gift moments. Buy a voucher for a photo shoot, gift a term of baby classes or get them a family pass for the local zoo. These are things they can do with mummy and daddy (and siblings if there are) and spend some quality time together.
Re-Think Your Advent Calendar
Advent calendars are cute and they build up the excitement. You will find many chocolate advent calendars in the supermarkets. These are used once and then go in the bin, adding to our waste.
This year you could try to get an advent calendar that you can put your own treats in. This way you can use it again next year. There are some really cute fabric ones with little pockets for the gifts.
An even better option is to make your own one with recycled bits. I really like this DIY advent calendar I found on Tastemade.co.uk. In the video they make the pillow boxes with cardboard. You can also use toilet paper or kitchen paper rolls for this.
The other day I was at a shop and saw a very cheap tinsel. I just grabbed some and put it in my trolley, as you do this time of the year. As I walked up the aisle I stopped and thought, nope! I turned around and put it back. Regular tinsel is made of PVC with a metallic finish. They cannot be recycled and will not degrade.
Today I bring you 2 cute alternatives. You can make your own fabric tinsel with scrap fabric or even clothes that no longer fit! Get the kids involved and make a fun afternoon out of it. Sewing Bee Fabrics shows us how to make a really cute fabric tinsel.
Our second option is making popcorn tinsel. It is advisable you use corn kernels and pop them yourself at home. If you choose to use microwave popcorn, make sure it is unsalted and has no butter. Trust me, you would not want to hang buttery popcorn around the house. Once you have made your popcorn you just have to string the kernels with a thread that is not going to break easily. You will need to use a needle so this might be a fun activity for older children.
Christmas cards are cute and I really like opening the mail box to find one sitting there. Now I have a drawer full of old Christmas cards. It is not something you leave on display once the festivities are over. One way to re-purpose them is to make them into tags for next year’s gifts!
My suggestion is you make a Christmas video instead. It will save you the trip to the post office and the kids can help you. You can make a slideshow with photos or film the kids greeting the season. This option is free and fun.
What changes are you making to reduce your waste? Share them with us in our comments section. We look forward to reading you amazing ideas.