Tuesday, 5 January 2010

A Plastic Christmas?

So, is it possible to have a plastic free Christmas? Ok, so I expect it is, if you really try, but apparently not for me. Not this year anyway.

To be or not to be plastic free?
As Christmas approached, I found myself debating the different options open to me:
1. try really and genuinely hard to have a totally plastic free Christmas, or
2. view it as an opportunity to treat myself with all those forbidden things I’ve been trying to avoid for the last few months.

Which side of the line do you think I fell? Well, I did want to try, honestly I did, but the closer it got to Christmas the more downhill it went. And do I have a valid excuse for this terrible failure? That probably depends on your perspective. Hopefully, anyone who has ever worked in retail over the Christmas period will be able understand my perspective. It’s awful. Crazy, manic, utterly exhausting. Holiday time? Pah, not likely. All my carefully laid, plastic-free plans went swiftly out of the window as I suddenly found myself in the last week before Christmas with no more time off work to concentrate on anti-plastic presents.

The good and the bad…
There were some successes, though, which I am now going to big-up as best I can in order to make me look better. My plastic-free purchases included: a wooden, heart-shaped photo frame, a wonderful Emma Bridgewater metal lunchbox, beautiful decorated glass earring dishes for each of my sisters-in-law made by Jo Downs, an interestingly shaped vase complete with a bulb to grow in it from Daisy Roots, a brilliant local ‘ecoflorist’. I also made my own Christmas cards using a torn up sheet of reindeer wrapping paper, although I completely ran out of time to post any of them. Oh, and I gave lots of books too, though sometimes I wonder whether there is some form of plastic in the glossy covers.

And the failures? Cds and Dvds were the biggest culprits. A few items had a little bit of plastic packaging – a tea infusion gift set I bought had a small plastic bag inside, and a flagon of cider I bought for my secret Santa offering, though in a glass bottle, had a plastic label. I had intended to try and find alternative wrapping paper that wouldn’t involve any plastic packaging, but ran out of time and ideas; and I originally thought of trying to wrap gifts without sellotape, but again time and energy just weren’t on my side. That really does sound like a pathetic excuse, doesn’t it? I say again, though: retail at Christmas, aarrgghh!

As for treats, well, they came into their own on the food shopping side of things. Roses chocolates, smoked salmon, Pringles, different cheeses… Actually, thinking about it, it’s not as bad as it could have been. Not perfect though, and I haven’t included the gifts I received either. But wouldn’t it be boring if I were infallible?

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