coast editor-in-chief, Alex Fisher, offers some simple swaps for festive activities that will help keep our seas clean and our environment healthier

1. Ditch the sticky tape (no, it doesn’t biodegrade) and use old-fashioned natural string. It looks much nicer too!

2. Don’t buy shiny, metallic or glitter- covered wrapping paper, instead go for simple plastic-free paper that you can put into your recycling (glitter is usually plastic, and you can’t recycle metallic paper in most council recycling schemes).

3. Buy glass bottles of drinks, not plastic. You can recycle glass endlessly, plastic you can only usually recycle once, and after that you are still stuck with a non-biodegradable product in your environment.

4. Look for beautiful wooden and fabric toys for children, instead of the plastic versions. If you feel you have to get the latest product, buy second-hand – you can find almost anything on eBay!

5. Seek out your local farmer’s market or shop, and buy some of your food here, where you will be able to purchase local products without plastic packaging, cutting down on air miles, supporting our farmers and reducing plastic pollution.

6. Don’t buy too much food. There’s a temptation to do this at Christmas, but it’s not as though the shops are closing down. The shops close for just one day… Reduce your food waste and buy what you need, often, not an amount to feed an army!

7. Never, ever, buy plastic cutlery to throw in the bin, however many people you are having around for a party. It’s horrible to eat with and will be in the environment for thousands of years. Is it really worth it to save half an hour of washing up?

8. Think of the animals too. Our feathered friends could do with a feed in the cold weather. Check out the RSPB guidelines for feeding birds and put up a nice fatty ball that will help robin redbreast get through the winter as well.

Here's coast's guide to rewilding your garden

Looking for more festive content? We've got getaways that are perfect this season as well as an ocean-friendly Christmas gift guide to inspire you…