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Reducing plastics at Christmas

How to reduce plastic waste this Christmas

Single use plastic free reduced Christmas

 

Sorry to sound like the fun police but we need to cleanse our soul and offset our carbon footprint. I know it would be near impossible to have a plastic free Christmas, unless you just went and sat in the woods and foraged for food! However, we can all do our bit to reduce waste this year and consider the environment. 

 

We’ve steered clear of mentioning the ‘C’ word for as long as possible, but December is here and Christmas songs are in full flow everywhere you go. Black Friday didn’t feel right for us. Encouraging people to buy all this extra ‘stuff’ just because it’s on sale, when you never really wanted or needed it. It just didn’t seem very Yugen! Instead we are offering a Save the Planet Pack, right up until Christmas. This saves you 10% compared to if you were buying them separately. 

 

The pack includes a canvas bag, steel water bottle and reusable spork. We manufactured these goods so that people would reduce their single use plastic waste. They make a great gift for any friends or family. I’ve got my whole family sporting the canvas bag including my nan! Some people are a bit more reluctant to change but will listen if you are passionate about it. Others understand the negative impacts of single use plastics, but don’t think that they alone can make a difference. Personally, I think each and every one of us can make a world of difference. If we all make small changes to our everyday lives, the overall effect will be incredible. 

 

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Here are some tips to help you reduce your single use plastic waste this christmas:

 

Christmas markets

I was at Bakewell Christmas market recently and was amazed at the amount of single use coffee cups and plastic bags. I’ll be honest, this is the first year I have really opened my eyes to it and noticed it so much. I took my coffee flask so that I didn’t need to use the disposable ones. I also took my canvas bag, as I know a lot of stalls either don’t have bags, or only offer plastic ones. I’ve made a point only to buy second hand or environmentally friendly presents this year. So, I bought a lonely planet New Zealand and Ranulph Fiennes book. They were from a cute little second-hand book shop, they cost £2 each and the shop owner was so lovely (Ranulph Fiennes, what a guy by the way!) Shopping on markets or locally is also a great way to support independent local retailers. You’re supporting someone’s dream and passion. Remember that every sale makes them smile or makes their day! I know that every single sale still makes me smile, so thank you for all your support so far! 

 

 

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Wrapping paper

Wrapping paper cannot be recycled, so for the few minutes of joy opening it we’re then left with this pretty paper stuck on the planet forever… not so pretty now perhaps? The alternative is to use brown paper and string, with recyclable card or paper tags. This way they still look pretty and it can all be recycled or reused. As a business we use more eco-friendly tape which has water-based glue. So whether you use this or normal tape just make sure you remove it before recycling the paper. 

 

Stocking fillers

If you love to buy stocking fillers and gift sets why not try buying some plastic free products from lush? They do amazing plastic free shampoo bars that come in a metal tin. They’re lightweight, compact and great for travelling. They also do plastic free soaps in recyclable pots. Gift sets are often filled with added single use plastic packaging, much like easter egg boxes are! 

 

Cling film

Probably one of the plastics I hate the most. The dreaded cling film! I am sure you will be wrapping up leftover Christmas dinner, and covering party food this festive season. Please just remember that cling film (or cling wrap for the Aussie’s) cannot be recycled. So, ask yourself if you really need to cover the food in cling film for such a short time period. Or whether you can put it in Tupperware to keep it fresh. I am sure you’ll have metal tins with chocolates or biscuits, these make great food containers. It's a great excuse to finish the chocolates off early! 

 

 

 

Yugen Christmas gifts 

 

If you know someone that’s going away travelling next year, we have some great gifts that will make their lives easier. 

 

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Worldwide travel adapter- this means they only need to take one adapter which has 2 USB ports and can also be used in the UK. It comes with a handy zip case so you can look after it for years to come. 

 

Microfibre travel towel- these towels aren’t a new invention, but nevertheless still revolutionary. It’s lightweight, quick drying and anti-bacterial. You’d be surprised at how many people you still see travelling with a bulky bath towel!

 

Save the planet pack- Of course this one’s ideal as a Christmas gift, it can be used travelling or for everyday use. The canvas bag makes a great beach bag as well as reducing plastic bag waste. The water bottle also has a karabiner clip to attach it to your rucksack to save space. The spork is reusable plastic, and unlike a metal one can be taken through airport security. This combines a spoon, knife and fork into one… what more could you want for Christmas! 

 

Beach towel- Our large Turkish cotton beach towel is amazing quality and repels sand. It rolls up small and has a hidden zip pocket. This means you can stash your valuables at the beach. It’s great for loose change and your hotel/hostel room key. It means you don’t need to take a bag with you that’s at risk of being stolen, or just annoying if you want to go in the sea!  

 

 

More time less stuff

 

The lovely Shanelle from 'Sea Bin See Change' has suggested a great concept this Christmas. This is to donate your time, instead of buying extra stuff that you don't need. This year she has asked her family and friends to donate their time by doing things to help others. Everyone will be recording their time donated and it will be tallied up at Christmas to give the total gift time. This can be anything from a 2 minute beach clean, to baking with family instead of buying. I have already clocked up 2 hours by volunteering at an old people's day care centre. It was really rewarding and they loved the extra company. I will definately do it again and will try to get in some more hours before the 25th! If you get chance to get involved in this please tag @yugenexplore and #moretimelessstuff. It's really a fantastic concept, so spread the free love this festive season. 

 

 

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It sounds a bit early to be saying have a great Christmas but I guess it depends when you’re reading this blog. So, from everyone at Yugen Explore we hope you have a lovely Christmas, filled with outdoor adventures and a little less plastic! 

Although I know a lot more needs to be done to combat the effects of climate change. We need to take some responsibility and be conscious consumers. If everyone in the world continues to think “well it’s just one plastic bag” then that’s just 7.2 billion plastic bags. 

 

Much love, 

Grace

Yugen Explore