Great gifts – less rubbish!
Not even men want to be buying presents on Christmas Eve! Last minute panic buying is not good for the bank balance or for our jolly frame of mind. A YouGov poll for 2014 suggests that the average household will spend £604 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 spending your money on quality, considering how you buy and re-using items to reduce the amount of wrappings that will be thrown away after presents from you are opened.
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! It’s also quite a good idea to have some gifts at home that you can give to someone in case you receive unexpected gifts or more expensive ones than you’d anticipated!. If you choose some general gifts that can be used for a lot of different people and if you don’t need them at Christmas you could either use them yourself or give them as birthday gifts in 2015. General gifts could include 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 have no idea what to get someone – just ask them as none of us wants to be part of the £2.4 billion spent on unwanted presents.
To re-gift or not to re-gift, that is the question?
A bit of a controversial one. Is it ok to give away a present you’ve been given? Everyone receives something for Christmas that they don’t want – you could already have one, it might not fit or it’s just not your style. 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 you could give it to someone else who will really appreciate it. Only you can decide whether to store or give to someone else, and you may find that it’s ok to pass on gifts from some family members but not others.
With rubbish we tend to say that prevention is the best thing to do. This applies to gift giving too, there’s no need to re-gift if you love everything you opened so make an effort to write a list and let people know what you want. Your list can include experiences and gifts of skills or time so you don’t have to worry about the packaging either.
Is the box important?
We are talking about Love Christmas Hate Waste so we’re quite conscious of packaging – one of the first things we all 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.
It would be great to hear from you on Facebook or Twitter, we’re posting ideas and pictures every day. If you’d like more ideas to reduce waste at Christmas take a look at our 12 waste free days of Christmas.
Our next article will focus on festive food.