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Christmas preparation

Reduce the waste you create from gifts this Christmas


 December wrapping paper

christmas presents

An extra 29,000 tonnes of waste is created over Christmas each year in the UK. Packaging and wrapping from presents is one of the causes. See our advent calendar for tips. Here are some other ways you can reduce the waste you create from gifts:

  • Buy an experience instead of an item such as afternoon tea, escape rooms, theatre tickets, spa pampering or a day out. See websites like Groupon or Red Letter Days.  
  • Make your own gifts to avoid packaging. See Pinterest for hundreds of ideas.
  • Not crafty? Try to buy upcycled presents or gifts containing recycled content instead.
  • Try a local charity shop or reuse centre for a pre-loved bargain.
  • Have a look to see if there's something you already own that would make a nice gift.
  • Looking at toys for children? Consider wooden toys as they are more durable than plastic.
  • Batteries - If you’re buying a battery-powered gift , buy a set of reusable batteries to go with it. Remember batteries don't go in household bins. Dispose of them at your nearest tip or dedicated battery banks in shops.
  • Include a gift receipt so a gift can be exchanged without causing offence.
  • Not sure what to buy? Use the shopping mantra "want, need, wear, read" to avoid gifts no one is going to use.
  • Subscribe to our e-bulletin for recycling tips throughout the year.

 

 christmas cards

  • Use magazines or recycling to create your own
  • Buy cards that contain recycled content and avoid those in pre-packaged film  
christmas gifts
    • Use & re-use gift bags rather than wrapping paper.
    • If you receive gifts in wrapping paper, try to open them carefully and save the paper.
    • If you do buy wrapping paper, look for some with recycled content and no glitter or embellishments. If you’re likely to reuse it, opt for the best quality you can as it won’t rip upon opening.
    • Check what you can recycle on our Recycle Right pages.

     Wrapping paper.

    jam tarts

    • Disposable plates, cutlery and cups might seem like a cheap option, but if you invest in china or reusable plastic for parties they’ll last you a lot longer. See the problem with plastic.
    • Don’t waste your leftovers. Make sure you have enough tubs, foil and Clingfilm to store them.
    • Make your own cake! Sounds simple, but if everyone did, think of how much packaging could be saved. Plus you can be sure of all the ingredients in case of allergens.
    • Ban balloon and lantern releases as they cause litter when they come down.

    • With a little care and repair your most loved outfit can party as hard as you. Visit Love Your Clothes for top tips to keep your clothes looking great.
    • When Buying Clothes, consider the best items you can afford. They are often better made and will be easy to look after. It might have a hefty price tag initially, but if you love it, the price per wear will be much better than a cheaper item you don’t really love.
    • Hiring an outfit or swapping with a friend is a budget way to look great.
    • Buying pre-loved clothes is another fabulous way to get a new look for a fraction of High Street prices.
    • Check our other fashion tips and see our new Swishing video:

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