FAM­ILY No plas­tic? No prob­lem! Christ­mas goes green

*** ALL WRAPPED UP Is it pos­si­ble to deck the halls and feed the troops with­out wreck­ing the planet? Hat­tie Gar­lick tries it, with ex­pert help

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - The Sunday Cook -

‘Mum,” said my son at sup­per, “Do you know, Je­sus was bored in a barn?” I sug­gested that he might be search­ing for the word ‘ born’. He con­sid­ered. “No, ‘ bored’ is more likely. There wouldn’t be toys in a barn.”

It was then that I re­alised that my chil­dren had strayed from the key mes­sages of Christ­mas. They are not, how­ever, alone. In the UK, house­holds pro­duce 30 per cent more waste than usual dur­ing the Christ­mas break.

“We’ve got a Christ­mas prob­lem,” says Clare Fis­cher of the Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety. “We view it as an ex­cuse to in­dulge – in al­co­hol, cheese or plas­tic. Af­ter all, it’s Christ­mas…”

In fact, 114,000 tons of plas­tic waste ends up in land­fill each year, along­side one in 10 un­wanted gifts. The eco­log­i­cal cost is in­cal­cu­la­ble, as is the cost to tax­pay­ers of dis­pos­ing of it. But there is hope. “Peo­ple are more aware of plas­tic,” says Fis­cher. “If con­sumers re­ject the amount used at Christ­mas, we can spark change. It’s hap­pened with straws.”

A less waste­ful Christ­mas doesn’t mean turn­ing Scrooge, she says. “I’m a grand­par­ent now, but when I was young, the house was dec­o­rated with real holly and mistle­toe. If grand­par­ents do that with chil­dren, it cre­ates mem­o­ries that last longer than plas­tic.”

In just such a spirit, I de­cide to see how hard it is to have my own plas­ticfree fes­tive sea­son.

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