Christmas Message From ‘Plastic Free Faversham’ – Wishing You A Responsibly Merry Christmas!

The market town of Faversham is an ideal place to #shoplocal this Christmas and as we strive to encourage sustainable tourism inspire you to think about a 'Responsible Christmas' this year...

From the cards and gifts we buy, to the way we wrap them, and how we choose to decorate our homes, from the food and drink and entertaining, opting for less wasteful, or disposable choices over Christmas means casting a vote for a more sustainable future.

CARDS: Hundreds of thousands of trees every year go to make Christmas cards, many of which can’t be recycled due to glitter and metalic ink. Plus the energy, carbon footprint and packaging. THINK: e-cards, postcards (half the paper!), recycled Xmas cards, hand made cards from repurposed paper, eco or charity cards - or a letter.

TREES: Your most eco-friendly Christmas tree option is to get a real tree cut from a local farm, or potted by a local business, and decorate it with thrifted, handcrafted or biodegradable decorations. It will be beautiful, festive, and sustainable. Take a look at this website: https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/organicliving/christmas/eco-friendly-christmas-trees-real-vs-fake/

PRESENTS: This summer we launched our very own Plastic Free Faversham Cup which helps you to avoid the unnecessary use of single use coffee cups. Made from recycled chopsticks, natural bamboo & plant fibres, it’s biodegradable, with a fully recyclable silicone lid. Durable and reusable over and over again, you can place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. A steal at £5 and available from these outlets:

􀀀 Edible Culture Garden Centre, The Abbey School, London Road Faversham.

􀀀 Monkshill Refectory, Monkshill Farm, Faversham.

􀀀 The Old Farm Shop, Dunkirk, Faversham

􀀀 Café by the Creek, Oare.

A two metre artificial tree has a carbon footprint of around 40kg, more than ten times that of a real tree that’s burned after Christmas.’

 A great little stocking filler! And one small step to a more sustainable Faversham.

If you own a cafe/pub/restaurant/shop and would like to stock our great little cups please

email: plasticfreefaversham@gmail.com

IDEAS FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS

https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/organic-living/christmas/10-ways-to-have-amore-

sustainable-christmas

MORE PLASTIC FREE PRESENT IDEAS:

Help the planet, give packets of seeds, treesand plants. Choose non nylon clothes, vintage, second hand. Look for eco-friendly gifts like reusable water bottles and coffee cups, or Fairtrade consumables, coffee, chocolate, spices. Give an experience, a membership or a charity donation in their name. A YouGov survey found that more than half of UK adults get at least one unwanted gift at Christmas. Imagine if this £740 million was given to charities instead.

Take a look at: https://lendwithcare.org/https://www.oxfamgifts.com/gifts/donate-goat/

GIFT WRAP, TAGS & DECORATIONS:

Gift Wrap: Every Christmas the UK throws away enough wrapping paper to circle the globe nine times. Avoid metalic papers and glitter – if it can’t be ‘scrunched’ it can’t be recycled. Be creative,

use brown paper or fabric. Make tags from last year’s Christmas cards. Give the sticky tape a holiday, use string, raffia, wool or non plastic ribbon, and save pretty ribbons for next year.

Decorations: Search plastic-free xmas decorations. Take a walk in the country and pick greenery – holly with berries, ivy, fir, yew, twigs to spray white or silver, pine cones. Or use star anise and cinnamon sticks tied with ribbon, and dried orange slices.

https://www.soilassociation.org/takeaction/organic-living/christmas/sustainable-gift-wrapping-andchristmas-decoration-ideas/

GREEN CHRISTMAS MARKET SATURDAY 4 DECEMBER

Buy gifts, food, drink and Christmas decorations from local makers and traders.

https://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/faversham-christmas-market-weekend-77380/

Visit our stall here & at the Xmas Market on 18 December at The Alexander Centre.

FOOD: Buy locally and loose to avoid packaging. Take plenty of bags when you go shopping and also your own containers for meat, fish and cheese. Writing a list makes sure you don’t overbuy, saves money and prevents food waste. Plan for your left-overs – can they be frozen or used for another

meal? Use beeswax wraps or store in your collection of permanent plastic tubs.

SHOP LOCAL: and avoid car miles - here are some local suggestions:

􀀀 Edible Culture 􀀀 Barley Mow 􀀀 Oxfam 􀀀 Macknade 􀀀 Mighty FineThings 􀀀 Apotheca 􀀀 Top Hat & Tales 􀀀 All Stitched Up 􀀀 The Yarn Dispensary 􀀀 Shepherd Neame Shop 􀀀 Faversham Society Bookshop & Fleur de Lis 􀀀 Creek Creative 􀀀 Charity & Antique Shops.

PRE-LOVED SHOPPING: It makes no sense endlessly consuming new things. Charity and antique shops are great to re-purpose and re-home, and good for children’s toys which also avoids the plastic packaging of new toys. If buying new choose goods made from recycled plastic and good quality toys which can go back into the charity shop in their turn.

CHILDREN’S PRESENTS:

Harder to avoid plastic here. Buy books, clothes and experiences. Search online for high quality, sustainable ideas. They may cost a bit more than the cheap disposable option, passed on and used again and again they will cost the planet less. https://www.envirotoy.co.uk/eco-toys/

TIPS FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS DINNERS

https://www.ecoandbeyond.co/articles/sustainable-christmas-dinner/ https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/green-christmas

EXCESS & WASTE: TIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS DINNERS

Nobody wants to miss out on the highlight of Christmas day. But it’s hard to ignore the environmental impact of a traditional Christmas dinner. So here are a few suggestions for a more sustainable festive season:

􀀀 Try a ‘less is more’ approach by reducing meat consumption in the run-up to Christmas and on the big day itself, helping to balance out the meat-heavy period.

􀀀 Or leave meat off the plates completely this Christmas. Nowadays it’s easier than ever to find a tasty turkey alternative.

􀀀 If a vegetarian or vegan Christmas is a step too far, you can minimise your Christmas carbon footprint and avoid waste by purchasing a smaller bird or opting for organic or more sustainably raised animals.

􀀀 Shop local and shop seasonal.

􀀀 Use up left-overs and recycle or compost the rest. Every year in the UK approximately 7 million tonnes of food are wasted. During the Christmas period alone 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings, and 74 million mince pies get disposed of while still edible, causing almost 270,000 tonnes of food waste in total.

AND TALKING OF COMPOSTING: PFF’S REUSABLE COFFEE CUP

Even though single use coffee cups might say ‘compostable’ the reality is that it’s seldom that simple, with lots of variations. So the best option is re-usable. Even though some single use coffee cups might say ‘compostable’, they are compostable only in industrial composting facilities - and there’s very, very few of these in the whole country! The sad fact is that the 2.5 billion single-use cups we use each year end up contributing to our massive waste problem, either by contaminating general waste, being incinerated, ending up in landfill or littering the environment. And even if they were readily compostable, we still can't justify using the enormous amounts of energy, water and biomass to create a product that will only be used once.

For more information on the great compostable plastics debate see:

https://langdonlife.wordpress.com/2021/09/17/does-compostable-plastic-really-compost/

For more or to join 'Plastic Free Faversham' and help to spread the message go to:

www.plasticfreefaversham.co.uk