5 000 000 000 001 A Christmas Special
Last week saw a conservative estimate of the amount of plastic in our oceans set at 5 trillion pieces. It also saw a Risso’s dolphin wash up on a Sydney beach, with a plastic bag in its gut. I could write a long, heart-wrenching, terrifying article about this plastic and how it’s impacting the oceans, animals and us. But instead I’m going to keep this positive and look at what we can do to make the difference. How about we don’t make that number 5 trillion and one, by taking a few steps this Christmas to reduce our impact on the oceans and the planet.
So in the spirit of Christmas, and all the waste that accompanies it, here’s a few ways to use less:
- Get crafty – home made gifts are always better. Fact. They show that you’ve put some time in, and are usually cheaper. Here’s some cool ideas to get you started:
- Hanging Moss Ball – http://www.loveofdirt.com.au/make-kokedama-aka-hanging-moss-ball/
- Body Scrub – http://mashable.com/2014/07/20/homemade-body-scrubs/
- T-shirt Bag – http://www.marthastewart.com/266942/t-shirt-bag
- More ideas here: http://www.everythingetsy.com/2011/11/101-green-handmade-gift-tutorials/
- Buy less & buy smart – do a Kris Kringle or Bad Santa, buy locally made or recycled, avoid battery powered toys and plastic, re-gift… The best present I got last year was a basket full of plants, all cuttings from my friend’s garden. Despite my total lack of a green thumb, I still use the chilli and herbs most days when I’m cooking and my garden is thriving.
- Wrap Recycled – use old magazines, posters, calendars, fabric, or recycled gift paper.
- Decorate wisely –
- Origami fireworks – http://www.instructables.com/id/Origami-Fireworks/
- String up fabric, twine, ribbons or paper chains instead of plastic tinsel.
- Use fabric napkins, plates and cutlery.
- Decorate with flowers & candles, not plastic.
- Save energy – turn off your flashing lights when you’re not in the house and use LEDs.
- Change your tree – Make a recycled Christmas tree, or buy a real potted tree you can plant after the Christmas craziness is over.
- Don’t forget the FOOD – you can hugely reduce your impact by eating local, organic produce. And use your leftovers – freeze them or get creative with your cooking.
Hopefully some of these ideas help create a happy Christmas for you and our planet.