Christmas is a time for celebrating God’s gift to the world, his son Jesus. It is a time for communities to unite, families to gather and churches to worship and pray. It can also be a time of waste. A time of excess packaging and uneaten leftovers, of single-use decorations and plastic-lined wrapping paper.
This is not God’s plan. As Reverend Dennis Nthenge put it when he joined us recently at the plastic treaty talks in Nairobi:
‘God does not do waste… After we've gone wayward… he gives us a second chance because he's not wasting us, because every one of us is useful to him.’
So as we celebrate the birth of the one who redeems us, how can we follow in his footsteps and have a less wasteful, but equally joyful, Christmas?
Seasonal fun without the plastic
Here are some fun, family activities that get your creative muscles working and reduce your need for single-use plastics:
If you’re looking for a pre-holiday activity, you could forgo mass-produced, often plastic-wrapped or -lined, Christmas cards and make your own. Everyone can get involved in this activity and it gives your Christmas greetings a personal touch.
Ensure your Christmas goes off with a bang by making your own crackers. There are plenty of plastic-free kits available online. The best part is that, instead of the usual plastic toys that inevitably end up in the bin by Boxing Day, you can fill your crackers with meaningful gifts and actually funny jokes.
Decking the halls can often mean festooning them in plastic. But here are plenty of alternatives to plastic decorations that you can create. Tree decorations, paper snowflakes and wreaths (including this Brussel sprout Christmas wreath – yes, you read that right) can all be made at home without any need for plastic.