Make this Christmas Last
With Some Environmentally
Friendly Stocking Fillers

Reducing your plastic pollution this Christmas doesn’t need to get in the way of the festivities. In fact, it could really enhance your gift-giving game. Take these earth-friendly gift options for example: great stocking fillers with the capacity to last, and a great way to start your loved ones off for the new year.

1. Reusable Cup

Most of us now realise how much we could reduce our personal plastic pollution by using a reusable cup when we pop in for a take-away coffee. It’s basic, but effective.

But what keeps a lot of people back from making the commitment is that the initial investment (albeit only £15 on average) in a good quality reusable travel mug seems like an indulgence. The one we like is always just that little bit more than we want to pay.

So what better time to get started than at Christmas, the season of small indulgences. Treat someone to something they will really enjoy using every day. There are so many different options to choose from now on the high-street and online.

A favourite coffee shop might have its own brand (and even offer a discount when you use it), and some online brands let you design your own online for no extra cost.

(Not a coffee or tea drinker? A good quality reusable water bottle is a great gift that lasts too.)

Young woman holding a silicone collapsible cup, reusable coffee tumbler.

2. Tote Bag / Bag for Life

Tote bags are everywhere, and there is certainly one for everyone. There is something so satisfying about shopping with a bag that suits your personality, whether they’re just your favourite colour, a pattern or material you like, or whether they make you feel involved in an Organisation you care about.

Single use carrier bags are a huge contributor to plastic pollution. Day to day totes are a much stronger and more durable alternative to the plastic carrier, and really you can’t have enough of them.

They are also a great alternative to gift-wrap for wrapping your presents (much of which is lined with hidden plastic).

Young woman carrying a hessian tote bag while checking her mobile phone

3. Treats in Jars

Widely available around the festive season, getting your treats in a glass jar or metal box that isn’t the same old plastic always feels a little bit special.

But it doesn’t stop there. Once the treats have been munched, there is no need to throw away the packaging: this gift can keeps on giving.

Glass jars, metal tins and wooden boxes are all extremely useful (and often very attractive) objects to keep and use around the house, for storing cotton pads in the bathroom, biscuits or oats in the kitchen, paper clips in the office, and just those odd bits and bobs in the bedroom.

For the craft-inclined they can be very quickly accessorised with a ribbon or label or anything that suits your taste. At Christmas they might make a very effective tea-light holder.

If you’re having trouble getting a label off, soaking in hot water with a bit of soap before scraping it off usually does the trick.

3 mason jars filled with christmas treats surrounded by candy canes

4. Natural Fibres Socks & Pyjamas

Not only are natural fibre socks and pyjamas much cosier and longer-lasting than artificial alternatives, they won’t release plastic micro-fibres into the water system with every wash. (Joy to the world!)

Wool is traditional, cotton is great, and bamboo socks are also a great alternative (not just for pandas). They can be slightly pricier (but when you’re getting socks for Christmas they might as well be special). Just check the label when you’re shopping, and you’re bound to feel the difference.

5 years old little girl sitting on cozy chair in woollen pjs and drinking milk near Christmas tree at home

5. A Stocking

A stocking is a festive way to deliver your presents, and a little gift-for-life that can be used every year (they NEVER go out of fashion).

Replacing your usual and possibly plastic-lined glossy wrapping paper with a fabric stocking is another way to cut down on unnecessary plastic waste.

(An alternative to this is to wrap a gift in a scarf, or, as we mentioned above, with a tote bag, or even a piece of material – these can be very effective and it’s a great bonus gift! 😀)

Christmas stocking hanging on hook filled with teddy bear

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Unfortunately we’re all getting so used to seeing the terrible images of plastic pollution around the world, that we’re almost becoming immune to them. Even statistics that tell us how EVERYDAY approx 8 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into our oceans, have lost their ability to shock. That’s why we created #OneSmallThingMyNI to highlight some of the small everyday things you can do to reduce your use of plastic in the hope that together we can motivate and encourage others to reduce, reuse and recycle too.