So much of what we are encouraged to buy in the run up to Christmas tends to be single use or plastic based, so here are a few things you could start saving through November and December to lower your environmental impact over the festive season!
- Empty jars – hold on to your empty jam, pickle and condiment jars over the next few weeks. They can make excellent containers for edible presents such as chocolate truffles, mixed sweets for children, or even hard to wrap accessories. With a nice piece of material or paper tied over the lid with some ribbon they are really pretty too! If you’re struggling to remove a sticky label, soak first in warm water, and peel off the paper before rubbing a small amount of cooking oil and a sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda over the surface to remove the sticky residue.
- Cardboard tubes – save your empty kitchen towel or toilet roll tubes this month to make some fully recyclable crackers. Simply fill the tube with a little gift, a handwritten joke and maybe a trivia question or charade, and then wrap the tube in light tissue paper, tied at each end with paper string. You could even add name tags to used as place cards at your Christmas table.
- Tomato purée tubes – did you know that tomato purée tubes are often made of thick foil that is gold on the inside? If you finish a tube of purée, rinse the tube and carefully cut off the ends and along one side and you will be left with a thick metallic sheet. Try using it to make a mini golden garland to decorate your Christmas table.
- Paper bags and brown envelopes – Christmas wrapping can look so effective with a simple brown paper base decorated with ribbon or drawn on with a design of your choice. Saved envelopes and paper bags are also great because they are already sealed on three sides so reduce the need for tape.
- Corks – if you’re having a party in the run-up to Christmas save any drink bottle corks. These make great little holders for name place cards if you cut a small slit across the top at one end. If you’re feeling creative you can also add some little stick-on eyes and a pair of pipe cleaner antlers to decorate them as reindeer! Keep the bottles too for candle holders.