Eco-Conscious & Plastic-Free Christmas Ideas

Everyone’s favourite time of year, Christmas is full of indulgence; food, wine, more food, shopping…

If you don’t already know, we’re on a bit of a mission to reduce the amount of plastic and unnecessary waste we collect and accumulate, and that means thinking twice about Christmas (!).

From eco Christmas gifts to low waste Christmas food ideas, we hope our plastic free Christmas tips will help to inspire you to have a ball this Christmas without leaving your bins overflowing with waste after the big day.

Buying Gifts

We don’t want to be all Scrooge, and everyone loves giving and receiving gifts, so we’re gifting smarter for a more eco-conscious Christmas; ditching the usual crap that ends up filling our house and only buying presents that will be useful. And we hear you, useful often means ‘boring’ so we’re looking for cool and innovative products to transform the mundane into the marvellous!

Below are a few of our favourite gifts for 2019, let us know if you have any other practical-but-interesting eco-conscious Christmas gifts you’ve found so we can add to the list.

Yuyu long hot water bottles

Our house is freezing in the winter, and our one hot water bottle is always in high demand! We stumbled across this incredibly clever creation that we’re all putting at the top of our wish-lists this year; a long hot water bottle. All the warmth of a hot water bottle that can be wrapped around your waist, over your shoulders and cuddled to warm you through, no matter how cold the house is; we’ll take four! Find out more about YuYu long hot water bottles.

Weaver Green blankets

This next one ticks the checklist of being just as beautiful as it is useful; and it’s got great credentials, worth extra eco-conscious Christmas kudos right?! Made from recycled plastic bottles, they’re great for using indoors to keep cosy in winter and as a picnic rug when the sunshine comes out to play in the summer. Explore Weaver Green’s collection.

Devon Duvets mattress topper

Did you know, we spend over half our lives in bed! Well, I probably spend even more time there thanks to last year’s Christmas present; my amazing mattress topper. We know what you’re thinking, boring right?! Think again, this one is handmade in the UK from pockets of British wool that keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And the best bit? They’re great for encouraging sleep (a lifesaver for anyone with little kids) and we flipping LOVE ours! Go go go and find out more.

North Face tent slippers & The Small Home moccasins

When most people think about slippers, they instantly picture the boring grey one’s granddad used to wear. I’ve been searching high and low for a pair to keep toes toasty but also look great and do great too. My first find, which is perfect for anyone who usually turns their nose up at slippers, are from The North Face. Made from recycled materials, they are literally sleeping bags for your feet that can be worn outside! 
My second find are simply beautiful. Individually handcrafted using techniques passed down the family, they use sustainably sourced natural materials to create these stunning (and seriously soft!) slippers. Visit The Small Home for a closer look.

Beeswax Wraps

We obviously can’t mention super-useful and eco-conscious Christmas gifts without giving ourselves a bit of promotion, can we?! Beeswax Wraps are an ideal stocking filler (or postal present- they fit perfectly in an envelope) and are a great way to encourage friends and family to take the new step in being more plastic-free. Our stunning designs come in bundles of different sizes and apparently are the best on the market ;). Explore our collection here.

And the list goes on! We’ll try and update this page yearly with our favourite plastic-free christmas gift ideas. There are also a few other tips and tricks to bare in mind when it comes to plastic-free shopping:

  • Ask the shop (whether online or in store) if they wrap or pack using plastic, and request they don’t include any plastic in your packaging. This is a great way to help guide your shopping to more eco-friendly businesses, and can help raise awareness of unnecessary plastic use to these shops.
  • Try and buy products that are made in the UK. Anything made locally, or made by hand, has the added bonus of supporting your local community and letting independents thrive. It also reduces your carbon footprint, win win!

Making Gifts

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of DIY and crafting here at The Beeswax Wrap Co. HQ. Our little company was born out of a love of crafting, and we like any excuse to make something new. 

Our resident plastic-free guru Claudi, hosted a “make-your-own plastic free gift” night and we all shared our favourite homemade recipes and ideas.

Find our favourite recipes in our blog post ‘Make your own Plastic-Free Hamper’, and have a go at making your own! It’s a great way to make inexpensive gifts that are plastic-free and eco-friendly, and we also recommend hosting your own DIY evening with friends and family so everyone can have a go at making their own plastic-free body and beauty products.

Gift Wrapping

Giving or receiving an unwrapped gift is always a little disappointing, but so is non-recyclable gift wrap and plastic tape! 

Before we learnt how to make beeswax wraps we made upcycled Christmas boxes and bags out of old sheet music and picture books from charity shops! We named our business Wrappers Delight!  It never took off but we did become masters of making origami boxes, which can easily be made out of almost anything (including beeswax wraps!). Follow our Box Tutorial and learn how to make your own.

You can also get creative and use any old newspaper, magazines and sheet music to wrap up your gifts. Finish with string or paper tape so it’s super easy to recycle afterwards.

Festive Food and Feasts

We are such overindulger’s at Christmas! There’s nothing quite like a Christmas day feast which continues into Boxing day and beyond…

Whether you’re catering for the whole extended family or just a small group, we hope our tips for plastic free Christmas food ideas help!

Support Local

Hopefully your town has a greengrocer and butcher that you can buy brussel sprouts and turkey (or whatever you like to eat on Christmas day!) from with ease. If not, look for your local farm shop, or research your area to see if anyone has locally grown veg or reared animals. 

We are really lucky to have Stroud Community Supported Agriculture on our doorstep, where we get our veg box from every week. Community Support Agriculture will help you find your local farm and lists everything you can get from there, from fruit and veg to meat and eggs. Find your local CSA farm here. CSA also hosts lots of events and has many volunteering opportunities if you’re looking to get your hands dirty and find out more about where your food comes from.

Not only does supporting local agriculture reduce the carbon footprint of your food, it is usually plastic-free and we honestly think it tastes better too.
If you’re still feeling stuck, try Oddbox. A vegetable box delivery scheme that helps to fight food waste by selling only surplus wonky vegetables that have been rejected by supermarkets. Starting at £8.99, these boxes reduce plastic, help you enjoy fresh seasonal vegetables, support the farming community and make a great gift too!

Plastic free food shops

When it comes to grocery shopping, this is something that we can do all year around and not just at Christmas. Granted, it can be a little less convenient than popping to your local supermarket, but with more and more zero-waste shops opening, we should be supporting them and doing our best to normalise plastic-free shops instead of supermarkets.

We’ve created a Zero-Waste Shop Map to help you find your local store. Most of them have pretty much all the store cupboard food you need, as well as cleaning and self-care items. Take an armful of containers; old jam jars, tupperware and beeswax wraps, and go crazy!! Perfect for stocking up over Christmas, they also often have lovely plastic-free gifts available too.

If your local zero-waste shop is missing from our map, please contact us and we’ll get it added right away.

Reducing Food Waste

There are always leftovers at Christmas! Don’t throw them away, no matter how little is left. Food waste is a shocking problem in the UK and it’s such a shame to see those homegrown vegetables be thrown away. Use beeswax wraps to cover dishes of leftovers, or create pouches for storing leftovers in the fridge or freezer. 

Love Food Hate Waste have a bunch of brilliant recipes on their website that can be made with leftovers, and some inspiring ideas on how to reduce food waste at home.