The festive season is here once again, a time of year where we all can give a little something back to our loved ones, who have been amazing to us in the past year. It’s a time for giving, which I humbly believe is what we are wired for, rather than getting. I love Christmas, I love the energy that it generates in people, most of which is in the anticipation of giving to others. I have learnt so much on the journey of creating whatson, some of which, is a greater environmental understanding and responsibility.
From the likes of local based Surfers agains sewage, my friend Sian Sykes from Psyched paddle boarding, and Dan Jordan from boomerang recycling have helped educated me further, in my now understanding the plastic free and zero waste movement better. As marine geologist and oceanographer, I’m never to far from the sea, so I’m constantly feeling and seeing the impact more and more of plastics on our shores.
I thought writing a blog where I can use this education, in some way help empower our community, who love our environment. So I’ve put together some alternative gifts ideas that are zero waste or plastic free this Christmas, some a random – yes I know ! I’m going to get some interesting feedback, but at least you have an idea of what some of the options are now.
The sheer volume of waste that goes into landfill this time of year, breaks my heart. Its crazy right, we all have been institutionalised into thinking that we just buy gifts and don’t think about where they end up after the buzz all but dies off. But change is in the air a wave of conscience and consciousness is sweeping the planet, and I firmly believe we are on the biggest change in our civilisation.
A climate change and zero waste rhetoric is engulfing society in a positive way I never witnessed before. Seems like people are waking up from the plastic hangover to the realities of our mess. What can we do though in our daily habits to help our planet?
Well I’m glad you asked. Integrating new habits into our daily ways is THE little thing, we CAN do, that has HUGE positive effects on the planet.
Things like …
-Choosing bamboo bathroom equivalents that we use daily
-Choosing only biodegradable cutlery and packaging take out stores- or if they don’t stock as them why?
-Choose various zero waste implements, in your kitchen ..
Here are three small things you can do today that will have a big impact to help the environment.
Get a reusable coffee cup instead of a plastic take out one
Take your own cotton carrier bags to the super market instead of opting for plastic carrier bags.
Get a zero waste water bottle instead of a plastic one
Im rather proud of our environment in north Wales, we have clean beaches and lovely rolling green hills. I love walking on the beach or up in the hills surrounded by nature.
Sadly these days it isn’t the case. Over the past few years since we having been living here again, I’ve seen an overwhelming increase in plastics on our foreshores and on the hills. I’m on the beach everyday and each day I pick up more and more plastics especially in the winter as the storms roll in.
So I have created an amazon store below, show casing some of the top zero waste products. Our intention is to connect you with these ideas and for you to spread the word. We will be creating a fully functional online store later this year solely for zero waste and plastic free products. Well keep you posted.
Just for transparency guys, these are our affiliate links in the blog which means if you are passionate about the environment and want to purchase a gift for your loved ones this Christmas through our link (just click each picture), we would get a 1-3% commission by amazon.
It’s a small way we can make a few pounds to buy our coffees to keep me and the freelancers caffeinated and motivated to produce loads more content for you all!
Back ground reading
On the go Essentials
Glass bottles are a far better alternative to plastic
Material bags trump plastic bags by a country mile. Simple move to a plastic free life.
Bamboo coffee cups are all the rage in the city now after finding out that most of the big brand’s take away coffee cups are not recyclable, these are a great option instead
Summer picnics.. Oh yes we can’t wait too, how about these bamboo cutlery sets for on the move people. Lunches at work, in the park or like us on the beach. No more plastic cutlery sets pls.
Bamboo straws, very very cool- time to ditch the plastic version that littler our foresaw. paper ones are also available.
Steel straws, a little bit less messy than the bamboo alternative and a tad cooler for a cocktail party!
Oral care :
The bamboo tooth brush. A genius invention coupled with a charcoal bristles. We love it.
Bamboo Silk Floss? Another seriously cool idea. How many tooth pics have you seen washed up on the foreshore. Too many. Problem solved.
Face and Body care
Organic Nasty free soaps. I have used these for the past five years. Dr Bronner’s is one of the most ethical companies on the planet. We love them. Check out their other products below.
Just really good stuff. No micro beads and plastic jazz.
Why would you smear titanium dioxide and aluminium mall over your body? Conventional suncreams and not just toxic for environments and corrals they are for you. opt for the natural versions.
Conventional lipsal balms contain parfin a petroleum bi product. Thats no cool. Defiantly not cool for your lips. Go natural with bees wax instead.
Spray deodorants have a little too much aluminium for our liking, the new movement is a natural alternative balm. Way better for your pits.
Plastic sponges are not cool. Natural and natural grown sponges are preferred tot the landfill options.
Natural bristled wood nail brushes are amazing in comparison to the old plastic manky ones we see. Far more classy we thinks.
Plastic cotton wool buds discarded down the nations loos end up all across our beaches. Its really sad to see. So here is a beauty of an alternative. Bamboo cotton wool buds. Winner!
Bamboo hair brushes.. another simple and yet effective solution to less plastic.
For a man with a beard. Natural accessories that don’t cost the earth. Literally
Natural saving bowls. No more CFC filled canisters of Gillette shaving foam- I may get in trouble for saying that.. oh well.
Single use razors? no way not on your Nelly. Learn to use a proper one instead like the good old days. Imagine how many single use razors are in landfill. Shocking.
Bamboo towels for kitchen use, I’ve yet to test them but they are on order. Ill let you know, but we like the idea of this.
Plastic free hair bands – made with natural elastic
For the Kids
Aloe vera aftersun cream is a amazing alternative to the zinc based ones, better for mother earth and better for your skin.
Bess wax natural insect repellent – love this!
Kiddies natural bamboo tooth brush
General Eco house hold goods
Eco lunch bags for your healthy packed lunches- I’m taking to the ladies here.. Guys you can get the metal lunch boxes at the top of the page!
Natural Dog chews, other than let the pooch chew plastics, damage his teeth and cost you a fortune in vets bills, give them a natural alternative. Either this or a real bone from your local butchers.
Eco Dog ball toys made from natural rubber no more plastic balls in landfill this bad boy will decompose much more rapidly when the dawwg chews it to pieces.
Earthy Paws are a cool brand, they make good eco dog and cat toys.. above is an example of one of their eco dog toys- there are a massive range. You can also make your own!
Ah Dr Bronner’s again. This is for doing your laundry with I’ve used it for 3 years and its fab. Go for either mint or lavender flavour!
Bamboo cutlery for your camper or holiday home..
Thicker and stronger than the previous ones, these are supposed to be more for heavier duty kitchen clean ups. I didn’t realise that almost all kitchen cloths where actually made out of plastic..
In the Office :
Bamboo Pens yes.. who would have thought.. How many Bic plastic biros end up in landfills I wonder? If everyone just had one pen instead of 50 we would be far better off.
Don’t strain your neck reading your iPad, instead prop it up with one of these cool bamboo iPad rests.
Bamboo mobile accessories looking rather trendy
This nifty little device holds your MacBook / laptop in the centre
Bamboo covers for the laptops exteriors are super useful when your a digital nomad like myself.
Paper eco tape for packaging
Eco packaging an alternative to plastic bubble wrap. Love this.
Another bubble wrap alternative- had to list it swell as its so cool to see..
On the Beach
Patagonia is THE world leader when it comes to ethical business. The founder (one of my heroes) Yvonne Churard a passionate French/ American man with a keen sense for adventure has been a ecological activist since day one. His brand embodies this ethos and we love it. The even make a plant based wetsuit!
Oniell released a set of bamboo sunglasses called the drifter series that we loved – may have to get a pair this summer..
Patagonia wetsuits made from Yulex rubber a plant based rubber, now thats cool
Skateboards made form Bamboo, yes they do have plastic wheels but its a step in the right direction!
Bamboo surfboards for those who surf !
Surfing fins made from Bamboo as opposed to the grp replacement ones
Eco surf board wax thats good for the environment
Bamboo surf board comb
For the car
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Bit about the blogger : My names Nick Fraser and I’m a local Marine Geologist and Oceanographer. I have moved back to the island of Anglesey for the past four years having grown up here and moved away. I am a passionate outdoor lover with a penchant for all things natural. When I’m not blogging in ofter found climbing or out in the wild in and around north Wales.