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Each year Brits send 100 million bags of rubbish to landfill each Christmas. Thats three and a half black bags full of festive packaging per household.

Ethical State

The most wonderful time of the year, isn’t so wonderful when you realise the extent of its environmental impact. Every holiday has become an excuse for society to participate in excess purchasing and unsustainable practices, and Christmas is no different. Questions on practicality, thoughtfulness and necessity are disregarded, as individuals are socialised into thinking they need to overbuy and overspend for their loved ones.

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Each year the UK spends a total of £700 million on unwanted presents! [This means] approximately £42 million of unwanted Christmas presents are thrown out in landfill each year.

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It is often the case that consumers last minute panic buy for those they haven’t checked off their list, and are more conscious of having a tangible object to give someone, rather than if the person that is receiving the gift is going to find value and appreciation in it. This contributes to the unwanted gifts that are received each year, which are an avoidable cost to the person and the planet.

Quality over quantity can be applied in many situations, and gift giving is one of them! The presents that are truly remembered are the ones that have a meaningful purpose.

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With Christmas fast approaching, and the challenge of present buying looming over our heads, we thought it was the perfect time to put together a Christmas green gift guide and help encourage consumers to be less wasteful and more conscious. So if you are unsure on how you can make your gift buying and giving more sustainable, here are some easy steps for you to get started.

These steps will be beneficial for both the consumer and the planet, so what is stopping you?

Gift an Experience

In this material world, when people think of presents, they think of something tangible, something that someone can hold. Presents do not need to be limited to such a thing, expand your options and get creative in your gifting ideas.

Some experiences could include:

  • Concert tickets
  • Attending a comedy show
  • A city break
  • Wine tasting event

Believe it or not but these type of presents are the ones that are most memorable!

Gift a Donation on Their Behalf

Whether it be towards a charity that is close to their heart, or sponsoring their favourite animal, this is a great gesture that is rewarding for both the individual and society.

Shop Local and Small Businesses

Why buy homogeneous goods that you can find along any high street in the UK, or any large online retailer, when you can support small brands and your local economy by finding unique personal gifts from local businesses and online on websites such as Etsy and Notonthehighstreet.

This is a great way to go the extra mile, as although it may be a simple gift that can be bought anywhere, you can look for sustainable alternatives and options to make it unique by getting it personalised or engraved!

Shop Second Hand

Lets remove the stigma of gifting second hand items this Christmas. Preloved clothing, accessories, ceramics, books can make the perfect gift, so why not give them a new home this Christmas? By buying from charity shops, you are able to choose from an unlimited range of gifts, decrease your environmental impact and help charities to support those in need.

Christmas Wrapping

It is estimated that each year, the UK sends 227,000 miles of wrapping paper to landfill after Christmas – enough to reach 90% of the way to the moon.

Most wrapping paper ends up in landfill as it contains non recyclable elements such as glitter or foil, so, in order to ensure you are able to recycle your wrapping paper, buy paper that does not contain these non recyclable elements.

Christmas Cards

In 2018 it was estimated that as many as one billion cards will be thrown away across the nation after the festive celebrations are over.

To avoid this environmental cost, we encourage the use of digital e-cards, or cards that are proven environmentally friendly. This can consist of cards using recycled materials and cards that do not contain plastics that are non-biodegradable.

That brings us to the end of our Green Christmas Gift Guide 2021. The team at RELUV wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

As well as dreaming of a green christmas this year, we will be acting on it and driving this positive change. Will you be joining us?

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