We were delighted when Madeline Murray & Tara Shine from Plastic Free Kinsale & Change By Degrees agreed to write a blog for us with their top tips on how we can all be more sustainable this Christmas ! Hopefully, one or two ideas might be incorporated into your Christmas celebrations this year.
PART 1 – Madeleline’s Tips!
- Santa doesn’t wrap presents. He is too busy (as are the elves) and he doesn’t want to create unnecessary waste. All that paper and ribbon and selotape. Kids understand that he doesn’t have the time and they like being able to see who owns what when they tear into the room (at whatever ungodly hour it is!). Plus, so many other gifts kids receive are wrapped so they still get to rip things open! The really shiny wrapping paper (or ribbons or gift ‘bling’) isn’t recyclable so try to stick to pure paper for wrapping gifts. Remove the big bits of selotape before you recycle the paper – small pieces are okay apparently, (we have checked!).
- Get your leftovers game on. Plan out a dinner a day and think about what was cooked the evening before. Roast potatoes can be fried up with onions for breakfast; use pastry to turn excess cuts of meat into some class of a pie; that mountain of cheese you bought? Melt it with wine, garlic and some flour and you’ve got a fondue for all the excess veggies in your fridge. Blitz up all that fruit before it turns and give everyone a badly needed health-kick smoothie on St Stephens Day. We always have too much cream in the fridge – make Mary Berry’s ice cream. It’s idiot proof and divine. This list is endless.
- My eleven year old is totally at a loss as to what to ask for from us. When I suggested he might like a trip he mentioned Disney Land. I brought him back to reality and then suggested a day out in Cork with a trip to Life Style Sports, a burger and the cinema. All on his own, with just me. I realize, a trip into the city isn’t edge-of-your-seat stuff – it’s the ‘all on your own’ part that matters most. We normally move in a pack given the sheer size of our family so this is a genuine treat for him and the idea literally lit his gorgeous face up. Experiences, even the simplest one: just don’t underestimate the value of them. (Tara loves this one too!)
- I pick up a lot of my gifts locally because I’m time poor and disorganized. Now more than ever, I realize that being time poor and disorganized has its up side – namely, it means I spend my money in local businesses, which means they also have a lovely Christmas. Research has shown that the Irish like to shop online. What’s more, they tend to buy from foreign brands over Irish ones – that equated to a spend of over €2.7billion on foreign brands in 2017. Supporting Irish businesses, whether online or on the street, helps a community thrive. Try to avoid bulk buying in the big chains when that spend counts for so much more amongst the smaller Irish businesses in your community. And try to buy from businesses that recycle properly. A survey found that over a quarter of people (26%) purchase half of gifts online and half in store and just under three quarters (74%) would be more likely to shop online if they knew that the business they were buying from recycled correctly. This result is of relevance when considering a recent report by Repak that found that many popular online retailers currently do not contribute towards the cost of packaging waste collection created.
Stay tuned for Tara’s Tips which we will release next week…