Are you about to be engulfed by a tsunami of plastic?
Do you dread Christmas* because you know your home will be invaded by a load of children’s toys, gimmicky games you play once (if that) and never get out again, and presents you never wanted but now feel obliged to keep?
(* Yes, it’s another Christmas-themed post.
But as always, it’s applicable to other celebrations too!
So read on, whether or not Christmas is your thing).
Who wants to be a killjoy at Christmas?
No one does, right?
But we are burying our planet under a sea of plastic pollution.
Every day, about 8 million (EIGHT MILLION!) pieces of plastic enter our oceans.
All marine turtles (yes, ALL of them) have plastic pollution inside them.
There is plastic pollution on every beach in the world and even deep in the Arctic ice.
And we’re not going to solve the problem by recycling.
As Annie Leonard, from Greenpeace USA, puts it:
“If your home was flooding because you had left the faucet on, your first step wouldn’t be to start mopping. You’d first cut the flooding off at its source – the faucet“.
Of course, this is harder to do if the faucet (tap) is actually under someone else’s control.
It can be difficult to prevail on family and friends not to go overboard with the presents.
Especially when there are kids involved.
But it’s those same kids that are going to have to deal with the fallout from the mess we’re creating.
So isn’t it at least worth a try?
And we can all help turn to off the tap ourselves.
Give fewer gifts.
Think about the environmental impact of the gifts you choose.
How were they made?
How were they transported?
Does the recipient really want them?
How will they be disposed of at the end of their life?
And don’t give into the temptation to give those “hilarious” novelty presents…
…that are funny for about 24 hours…
…before they end up taking up permanent residence in a dusty corner…
…or heading to a charity shop, which receives so much of this stuff it can’t sell it…
…and then to landfill.
Examples from Christmases past:
That DVD of a roaring fire.
A pair of carrot earrings for the person who hates carrots.
Those battery-powered sound-activated dancing sunflowers.
Or…available this year:
The Cheesus Christ grater – I kid you not. “Every time you use this cheese grater the face of Jesus will appear before your very eyes“.
Toilet football (a mini football game you can play while on the loo).
A wine glass attached to the neck of a wine bottle.
Anything to do with Baby Shark!!
Please. Just don’t.
Does anyone in your life love giving this type of novelty gift? Have you managed to stop someone doing it? Share your tips for cutting off the plastic-tsunami below.