Eco-friendly Christmas gift guide: 6 sustainable gift-giving tips
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and also the most wasteful. Here’s 6 tips for sustainable gift-giving at Christmas.
1. Buy recycled and recyclable wrapping paper
If you’re buying recycled, you’re not contributing to more virgin paper being made. And buying recyclable means your friends and family can opt to recycle the wrapping from your gifts.
Wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated and cannot be recycled if it contains sparkles, glitter, sequins, foil, artificial texture, sticky gift labels, or plastic.
2. Open your gifts carefully and keep the wrapping paper for next year
227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away each year at Christmas time. Try keeping the wrapping paper you receive from your gifts neatly folded up in a safe place and ready to be reused the following year. That way, next year, you can skip sustainable gift-giving tip number one altogether.
3. Use paper tape
Sellotape must be removed from wrapping paper before it can be recycled. Most people won’t know this or remember to do so.
Paper is better than plastic in its own right – but when it comes to tape – it means a better chance of your wrapping paper being recycled!
4. Buy useful presents & ask people what they’d like as a gift
Around 23 million unwanted gifts end up in landfill each Christmas in the UK alone.
The majority of the rest end up sat around the house and very few are re-gifted or donated to charity shops.
Presents are a lot less likely to end up in landfill if they’re actually useful. Try asking people if there’s anything specific they’d like. Then you can be sure to gift something your loved one actually wants!
5. Choose plastic free gifts where possible
Billions of large plastic toys are gifted to children at Christmas. Many are played with just the once and thrown away. There are loads of great wooden toys on the market. (These would also make your gift stand out from the bunch).
As for grown ups, choosing a plastic-free present is generally easier. It’s often packaging that ends up sneaking plastic into your adult gifting. Keep an eye on what your gifts are packaged in, and choose a plastic-free option where you can.
6. Shop small
So much money is pumped into huge corporations at Christmas. They’re known for profitting from mass selling cheap products so that we are in a never ending cycle of consumption and wasteful living.
These products are often able to be made at a low cost by using unethical and unsustainable practices during manufacturing. As well as exploiting workers.
Shopping small and buying mindfully means more level minded decisions, less waste and products designed to last. Plus, there’s the added bonus of supporting small and local businesses.
Will you try any of these sustainable gift-giving tips this year?
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