Plastic-free Christmas Part 1: 13 tips for shopping, storing, cooking and eating.
Christmas is just around the corner – how exciting!
December is my favourite month of the year: it’s summer time so I can spend my days at the beach – get some waves, sunbathe, paddleboard, BBQ…. Christmas season is awesome! Plus, with my birthday on the 21st of December I get 2 lots of presents in a week.
However, Christmas can also feel like a pretty hectic time of year – there are cards to write, food to prepare, presents to buy for family and friends. At the start of December it can all seem a bit daunting, especially if you are like me and leave most of it until the last minute. Because as you know, Christmas just sneaks up until all of a sudden it’s only a week away and you haven’t organised anything (insert breakdown here!).
At the best of times it can feel overwhelming and then you throw an eco-friendly Christmas into the mix – yikes. But like anything in life, with a bit of guidance and preparation it can be easy to do. You just need to know where and how to start.
I know how much you love our oceans. I also know how important it is for you to do your best when it comes to looking after our mother earth, your health and the health of your family.
I want you to be empowered to make this Christmas the most eco-friendly yet. So I have made this 2 part post to help you along your way.
Part 1: Shopping, storing, cooking and eating
Part 2: Presents, fun and what to do with all that waste…
Let’s start with Christmas food and food shopping
1. Make a list/ Meal plan: Seriously this one is going to make life so much easier, check out the shopping list and meal planner I’ve created especially for you. Pour a cup of tea, grab your cookbooks or your Pinterest app and find some recipes that you would love to cook. Write them out on the meal plan and the ingredients you need on the shopping list.
2. Remember your reusables: Put your reusable bags at your front door or in the boot of your car, so you can remember them for your Christmas shop. You can also take your reusable produce bags for any fruit and veggies, and your jars/containers can be taken to the bulk food store.
3. Farmers Markets: Make a list of all your fruits and veggies you need and take your reusable bags. Shopping at the farmer’s markets means you can get seasonal, local, fresh and often cheaper produce. It’s a lot easier to find unpackaged fruit and veggies at the farmer’s markets too.
4. Meat and seafood: Choose sustainable, choose local, choose organic and take your own containers when you are purchasing to avoid the single use plastic. Check out Sustainable Table, Sustainable seafood guide and MSC.
5. Bulk food shop: You can avoid so much plastic packaging by shopping at a bulk food store. There are so many popping up everywhere these days. My favourites are The source bulk foods. You can take your own containers and jars or use their paper bags which you can recycle when you are finished with them. It’s so easy, just make sure you have a list of all the ingredients you need so you only need to make one trip. Another bonus about shopping at bulk food stores, they have package free chocolate! I know the source wholefoods stocks Loving earth and they have a big range of other delicious treats.
6. Just eat real food: Wholefoods that have been made by nature is the best, healthiest and nutritious way to eat. Wholefoods don’t need to be packaged in plastic or have added preservatives added so they last on the shelf. I have created a Pinterest board to share with you some of the wholefood recipes I will be cooking up on Christmas day (there are some DIY craft ideas in there too)
7. Choose glass over plastic: Buying items in glass instead of plastic is awesome because you can reuse the jars (and recycle them once you have reused them) and you are avoiding the chemicals that leach from the plastic into your food.
8. Nude bin: Forget plastic bags and let your bin go naked, or if that’s a bit gross to you (totally isn’t gross by the way, my bin has been naked for months and its super easy to keep clean) line it with newspaper.
9. Don’t waste food: Food waste is a major problem worldwide. Australians throw away $8 billion worth of food every year and 1.9 million tonnes of packaging each year. Writing a list of exactly what you need is the best way to avoid waste. Take note of what is already in your fridge, freezer and cupboard. You will probably have some ingredients on hand already. Not only is it a waste of perfectly good food and limiting space in landfill, it’s also a waste of your hard earned moolah, no one likes to see that go down the drain. Check out The Clever Cook ebook for awesome recipes and facts on how you can reduce food waste.
10. Are you hosting? Stock up on Eco friendly TP: There are 2 TP brands that I think are awesome, made from sustainable resources and don’t have nasty chemicals, inks or dyes. You can buy in bulk so you know you won’t have to do the awkward toilet paper run on Christmas afternoon and they deliver straight to your door.
11. Say no to Clingwrap: There are way better ways to cover food than use cling wrap. Beeswax wraps are my fave way to cover food. You can also cover a bowl with a plate, use a damp tea towel to wrap fruit and veggies and cover a plate or bowl. You can also store food in glass containers or jars.
12. Serve your food with real cutlery and plates: I get it, washing up is the last thing you want to do after having a massive feed and all you can think about is having a food induced nap. We have all been there. I really hope you have a dishwasher! Seriously though, do we really need to be using plastic plates and plastic cutlery? I’ll answer that for you…. NO.. no we don’t. Let’s not be lazy, let’s be conscious. If you don’t have enough cutlery or plates then hit up your local op shop or ask your guests to bring some from home. I’m sure they won’t mind, especially when you explain its way better for the environment and they won’t be exposed to harmful toxins leaching from the plastic.
13. Say no to straws: I will definitely be using my reusable stainless steel straw on Christmas day when I drink my fruit infused water, delicious! Straws can be awesome, but only if they are not made of plastic. One of the top 5 plastics found on beach clean ups are straws, they get stuck up turtles noses and take hundreds of years to breakdown, plastic straws are just really uncool. Get yourself a reusable straw, they would even make a great stocking filler!
Well there you have it, 13 tips to making your eco friendly christmas easy and stress free!
What else would you add to this list?
Keep your eyes peeled for part 2: Eco friendly presents, fun and what to do with all that waste…