Sep 25, 2017

Reduce Your Plastic: Part 4 - Holidays, Garden, General Tips

My friend Rosie at Green and Rosie Life posted 100 ways to reduce plastic and how she was doing with it. I thought I would do the same. These tips are the next 25 or so of her list and cover a variety of topics. Don't forget to check out the first post in this series that covers food, drink and shopping, the second which covers going out and about, babies and children, cleaning and personal care items, or the third about clothing, household, work and pets.   

Leave a comment about how many you are doing! Most of the following links are to other posts I have written, but some links are affiliate links to Amazon. If you click the link and make a purchase I may receive a commission that helps to keep the blog running. Thanks for supporting Skip The Bag!

Gift Givings and Holidays Christmas, Easter, birthdays etc

76.  Give service gifts such as a free baby sitting night, evening at the theatre, a meal out, sponsor a child or support a wildlife/environmental charity 

I think experience gifts are the best sort of gifts! Don't forget to check out my post on zero waste gift ideas

77.  Wrap gifts without sellotape - use raffia or string and get creative.

This is one area I'd like to get better about. There is even paper tape, which could be a great alternative. 

78.  Make decorations from natural materials

I do this particularly for Halloween and fall! It's so easy to have some branches and/or leaves.

79.  Make plastic free gifts such as preserves and handmade clothes/accessories

Homemade gifts are always nice. Check out my Pinterest collection of Zero Waste Gift Ideas for more inspiration.

80.  Send e-cards

I'm not in the habit of this. I think that this is a great option for certain people or events however. 

81.  At parties ask guests to bring their own cutlery and crockery rather than supplying plastic throw away ones

When we have a party it's usually a potluck of such or just appetizers. I try to get appetizers that you can just eat by hand so we don't have to use silverware at all. With meals that's a little more difficult. I've never had anyone bring their own silverware or anything, but that's because we have WAY more than we needed for a family of two!

82.  Make your own chocolate gifts at Easter to avoid all that plastic

What a great idea! I'd love to make my own treats for Easter. 

83.  Avoid buying online where products are often sent with lots of plastic wrapping

Ugh, I struggle with this. Online shopping is convenient and I'm able to get items that I can't get locally. However, I hate all the plastic wrapping that can come with it. 

84.  Grow your own flowers/pot plants as gifts 

This is a great idea. We would give plants as gifts in lieu of cut flowers for holidays such as Mother's Day.

In the garden

85.  Use terracotta or biodegradable plant pots

We mostly plant in the ground so we have very few pots. However I should buy terracotta pots to replace our two large herb pots. For seedlings I reuse the plastic ones we bought, or use plastic containers. 

86.  Re-purpose plastic fruit/veg trays as seed trays 

Yep! I do this.

87.  Re-purpose yoghurt pots as seedling pots

Absolutely! You can see a photo here of the ones I was using (link)


88.  Use plastic bottles to help direct water to the roots tomato plants etc - details here: water-wise tomatoes 

We use a standard sprinkler. I'm sure it wastes some water, but with a timer it's easy breezy.

89.  Use polystyrene as crocks in your plant pots 

Again, we don't use pots much, and I don't use crocks. I don't know that I'd use polystyrene anyway. 

89.  Make your own labels from plastic bottles or buy those made from natural materials

We don't really label things in the garden, even for seedlings...which has led to some interesting discoveries! But someone recommended using old window blinds. A single blind can lead to many labels. 

Pin for Later!

In Summary

For the foreseeable future plastic is going to be part of our everyday lives but we can take steps to reduce how much we use which can be summarized thus:

90.  Get into the habit of seeing where plastic exists is the first step to reducing how much of it you have in your life

I would recommend doing a trash audit to find out what is contributing to your trash and waste. 

91.  Think before you buy and switch to non plastic alternatives where possible - silicone is a safer option 

If you are looking for some places to get started here is a list of 5 easy ways to use less plastic and 5 simple plastic-free swaps for the bathroom

92.  Re-use the plastic you do have as much as you can

Yes, reusing is important, but so are things like precycling. Which I didn't even know about prior to starting this journey. 

93.  Upcycle plastic into new things

I'm always on the look out for great ways to upcycle products. I've made some upcycles, but nothing specifically from plastic that I've written about on the blog. Some I have written about are DIY washer necklaces, Rolodex Calendar, and Christmas Card Wreath

94.  Ask yourself "Do I really need to buy this plastic product?"

You should always ask yourself this whether it is plastic or not! Of course, I tend toward minimalism. 

95.  Write to manufacturers to say you are boycotting their plastic based products or packaging 

I haven't really done this. I have tagged a company on twitter before, but this really is an important step. If companies don't know people are unhappy with their products they don't know to make the changes. 

96.  If you must buy plastic then look for second hand rather than new

I love buying "pre-loved" items. That's one of my tips for an environmentally friendly closet

97.  Work towards eliminating single use plastic in your life

Absolutely! 5 easy ways to use less plastic will help cover a lot! How do we compare?


98.  If you have to buy a plastic item (not something in plastic packaging) make it the best quality possible to ensure it lasts as long as possible

This is a great thing to keep in mind! 

99. If you follow the 4 Rs you will help reduce your plastic use - reduce, re-use, repair and recycle (the first 3 being the most important) 

I've actually found 7 R's of Zero Waste! They all have their time and place, but refusing and reducing are important aspects.

100.   Finally and perhaps most important of all we need a fifth R - Raising awareness.  When people are aware of a problem they are much better placed to find a solution so please, share this post and let's help everyone to reduce their plastic habit!

I guess there really should be 8 R's! Raising awareness is why I started Skip The Bag in the first place. 

I've enjoyed seeing how far I've come with reducing waste and plastic and taken notes of some areas I still can improve upon. Don't forget to check out Part 1: Food, Drink and Shopping; Part 2: Cleaning, Babies, and Personal Care; and Part 3: Clothes, Work, Home and Pets


  1. Hi Katy,
    You have a lot of great ideas that aren't that hard to follow. I do my best to reduce, reuse, recycle but I try to arise awareness on my blog. Plastic has become a serious environmental problems that affect all people, animals and the whole planet. Thanks for writing this article I am sharing -- pinning, tweeting and sharing on google.

  2. Thank you so much for working through my 100 step plastic reduction challenge. Little surprise that you are doing so well but I pleased I could give you a few new ideas. I will link your 4 posts to mine later.

  3. I love how in a very subtle you have let people know how they can save Earth in the easiest way. I just hope people learn something from this.