More great gifts but less rubbish please!
According to the annual YouGov poll about Christmas spending habits, this year the average household will spend £596 on presents this year! Do we really need to spend that much to give great presents that everyone will love?
We don’t think so, which is why we’re encouraging you to become a Thrifty Gift Giver – being ‘thrifty’ simply means being organised, buying quality items, re-using items and reducing the amount of waste that happens at Christmas time.
Make Your List, Check it Twice
If you’ve not made your gift list yet, do it today. It’s better to check you’ve not overlooked someone now to avoid Christmas Eve shopping or a panic on Christmas Day. Rushing around doing last minute present buying is not good for the bank balance or our jolly frame of mind.
While shopping it’s also quite a good idea to purchase some gifts that you can give to someone in case you receive unexpected gifts or more expensive ones than you’d anticipated. Choose some general gifts that can be used for a lot of different people such as bottles of wine, chocolates, chutneys and jams, best-selling books and high street gift vouchers. Have a stock of gift bags as well, as it’ll be quick and easy to wrap them up and put a label on. If you don’t wind up needing them at Christmas you could either use them yourself or give them as birthday gifts in 2015.
If you have no idea what to get someone – just ask them. In 2014, £2.4 billion was spent on unwanted presents and discarded food according to a Money Advice Service annual poll. Sadly however, we’ve all been on the receiving end of an unwanted Christmas gift at some point. Perhaps you already have one, it might not fit or it’s just not your style. Is it ok to give away a present you’ve been given?
To re-gift or not to re-gift, that is the question?
Re-gifting- is a bit of a controversial issue. You could recycle the gift or throw it away, but not the most waste friendly option. Plus, someone may have put time and effort into getting you a gift they thought you’d like. You could keep the present in a cupboard and bring it out every time Aunty Ann visits to show her how much you like it. Or, better yet you could give it to someone else who will really appreciate it. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide, but with rubbish we tend to say that prevention is the best thing to do so re-gifting gets our OK!
If you make an effort to write a wish list and let people know what you want, you can prevent having to go through the re-gifting conundrum, as there’s no need to re-gift things you love. Here’s our thrifty gift ideas list to help inspire you. Your list can include experiences and gifts of skills or time so you don’t have to worry about wasteful packaging either.
Think outside the polystyrene-filled box
Talking about Love Christmas Hate Waste inevitably brings up questions of packaging. One of the first things we tend to notice about items that are specifically made to become gifts is that there is quite a lot of shiny and sparkly packaging around them. We don’t want to point fingers so we’re only going to give a general example. Imagine a toiletries gift pack, it’ll usually have an attractive (hopefully re-usable) box, plastic moulded to the shape of the bottles/jars/tubes, some plastic wrapped round the outside and plastic or fabric ribbon holding the plastic wrapping on.
Some of the packaging is important to help the gift reach the shop and then the person you’ve bought it for in one piece. However, it’s hard to see how all the packaging is helpful, especially when you’re delivering the gift by hand. The packaging is included in the price so if you’re thinking about buying gift sets or hampers, work out how much it would cost to buy the content individually and see how much more you could get for your money if you buy them loose and make the packaging yourself re-using items you’re likely to have at home. Check out the 12 presents wrapping from our Waste Elves for some fabulous home-made gift wrapping ideas.
It would be great to see photos from you on Facebook or Twitter of your beautiful hand-made wrapping creations. If you’d like more ideas to reduce waste at Christmas take a look at our 12 waste free days of Christmas.
Next week our Love Christmas Hate Waste article will be all about festive food. Keep a lookout for it!