If Mother Earth and Father Christmas got together, what would the festive season look like?

Perhaps they'd aim for a plastic-free Christmas - so, can it be done?

Rather than sending all the stockpiled plastic we can't deal with over to Malaysia, let's deal with it ourselves, firstly by purchasing less of it.

Food and drink


These are right at the top of the demands for Christmas, but we know that micro beads and micro fibres are making their way into our food chain, so let's make choices that stop it.

Like everything in life, balance is key, and so is using our creative energy to find solutions, particularly with our friends working in plastics.

Know your good plastics and which to avoid.

How about gifting keep cups and food storage this year? It is the gift that keeps giving. There is a great selection at places like the Village Snob by Paikaitore and the Bin Inn, and Geeta's on Guyton St has great metal tins that clip together.

And Countdown have a great range of bamboo keep cups at the moment.

Stocking fillers

Instead of little plastic things that will break within 24 hours, how about seasonal fruits and nuts (but only if there are no allergies present).

Pretty toiletries in numbers 1 and 2 plastic can be dealt with here and they can be presented in your own wrapping.


Socks, scarves, underwear, pencils, paper, paint boxes, jewellery, wax wraps, wooden yo-yos etc are all good stocking fillers, while the wood turners at the Saturday River Traders market have delightful spinning tops.

Basically anything that is not disposable or single-use plastic - recycled durable plastic is fine.

Avoid plastic ... wrap your gifts with paper and cloth like Courtney Woller.
Avoid plastic ... wrap your gifts with paper and cloth like Courtney Woller.


Make your own or come to Sustainable Whanganui at the Resource Recycling Centre on Maria Place on Friday, December 21, and we'll help you make your own wraps and cards.

While there, you could check out the fabric room for cloth to wrap and make decorations from. There are also plant pots, mosaics and equipment, the jar bar and paper palace etc.

The jar bar is a great resource should you want to make pickled lemons, thyme oil, herb vinegar or some other preserve.

Some of the fancier jars are great for making home-made bath salts using epsom salts and dried rose petals. There are lots of lovely recipes and ideas in the library.

Home-made presents

You can't beat the satisfaction of making something with your own hands, while also knowing you've avoided the plastic so many gifts are covered in.

I still have two lightweight bags a friend made for me 10 years ago. I love them and, even though she has passed on, I think of her often when using those bags.

Maybe Countdown, New World, Pak'nSave and 4 Square will be inspired to give all their customers free bags over Christmas?

These are a few ideas to be going on with - any other suggestions on how to make a plastic-free holiday would be greatly appreciated.

Meri Kirihimete.