1. Our number 1 rule, wherever you shop, take your reusables: cotton bags, Tupperware, jars and produce bags. If you forget them, there is a good chance that the place in which you’re shopping will have cardboard boxes or crates from deliveries that they’ll happily pass your way!
2. Visit your local refill shop – take your containers with you and stock up on flour, sugar and dried fruit for your Christmas baking, dried herbs and spices for your Boxing Day centre-piece and the rice and pasta to help mix up those leftover dishes!
3. Find out when your local markets are. There tend to be more at this time of year and it’s a great opportunity to meet and support local, independent farmers, cheesemongers, greengrocers and business owners. As well as fantastic produce, it’s a great chance to find some gifts for loved ones.
4. If you have a local butcher or greengrocer, get to know them. Ask them about the provenance and welfare of their produce, discuss your endeavours to reduce plastic. Customer demand creates change, after all.
5. Make treats from scratch! It can be difficult to find certain items in non-plastic containers (although the shops are listening to the customer demand for less plastic) but this is a great opportunity to expand your culinary skills and make them yourself!
6. In the kitchen, reduce your use of clingfilm and foil. The leftovers can go into a lidded container or jar, rather than a bowl with a single use clingfilm lid. The lump of local cheese would do well in a soywax or beeswax wrap.
7. When it comes to doing the inevitable dishes, switch to reusable, washable dish cloths for the bulk of it and invest in a plastic-free scrubbing brush for the items that require elbow grease.
8. If you already have a roll of clingfilm or pack of plastic dishwashing scourers in the cupboard – please don’t dispose of them just yet! All the good intentions for change go out of the window if the items that you already have don’t fulfil their intended purposes. So use those scourers until they can scour no more, knowing that your next purchase will be a plastic free one.