10 Tips for Reusing, Recycling and Minimizing the Waste from Christmas Presents

10 Tips for Reusing, Recycling and Minimizing the Waste from Christmas Presents

The Three R’s for This Gifting Season – Reuse, Reduce and Recycle

People tend to be more environmentally conscious in December than at any other time of the year. Many feel an urge to do their bit for the planet, reduce their carbon footprint and leave a smaller impact on the environment. Thankfully, this is something the majority of us are happy to put our efforts towards during the festive season. After all, who doesn’t love eco-friendly Christmas gifts? But reducing your environmental impact can be a challenge – especially when it comes to that inevitable mountain of waste from Christmas presents. In order to have as little impact on the environment as possible this year, we’ve compiled some useful tips for reducing waste from Christmas presents this year and every year from now on.

Educate yourself about the environmental impact of your gifts

Before we look at ways to reduce the waste from Christmas gifts this year, it’s important to first understand the environmental impact of the gifts we give and receive. Many of the presents we receive are typically made from non-biodegradable materials, like plastic, metal and synthetic fabrics. They’ll ultimately end up in our landfills if we don’t find ways to reuse them or recycle them. So, it’s important to be aware of the effects our gift choices have on the environment.
Tip 1. Buy the best product you can afford
Tip 2. Buy Local – It reduces transportation pollution and energy waste
Reduce and reuse first.
Tip 3. Buy gifts that can be recycled; Reusing items that you already own or giving old items a new lease on life is the first step toward reducing the waste from Christmas presents. If you’re buying gifts for someone who already has everything, why not consider buying them an experience, like tickets to an event, a gift voucher or a subscription to a service?
Tip 4. Always buy products that are useful as they are less likely to be thrown away.
Tip 5. Always buy products that will last; if you’re giving or receiving a gift that you know will be reusable, like a piece of clothing or a gadget, make sure you make use of it for as long as possible before you need to buy a new one.

Check out your local second-hand stores

Tip 6. Second-hand stores are a great way to reduce the waste from Christmas presents. They’re a brilliant place to find affordable gifts that have already been used by one person before you give them to the next. Check out your local Goodwill, Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity Re-store. You may be surprised at what wonderful vintage items might find. Don’t forget to check out garage sales and flea markets too. You might find some real gems that have had a previous owner but are still in great condition.
Just make sure you select gift items that are in excellent condition so that the recipient will feel just as special receiving a ‘pre-loved’ gift as they would receiving something brand new.
Tip 7. Don’t forget to check out online gift stores too. These are a great option if you’re buying gifts for someone who lives far away or if you just don’t have the time to visit a brick-and-mortar store.

Recycle what you can’t reuse or give away

Tip 8. Buy products that have the least amount of packaging.
If a gift item is made from a non-biodegradable material, you can’t really reuse it. In these cases, you could consider recycling it instead. Many supermarkets and hardware stores offer recycling drop-off stations. You can take the gift item to one of these stations and they’ll recycle it for you. Some cities even provide free gift item recycling services. Check out your city’s waste management service to see if they provide this service and what items they’ll accept. If a gift item is made from a biodegradable material, like wood, you could compost it. Just make sure you do it in a safe way and that you don’t compost anything that could harm the environment, like synthetic fabrics or batteries.
Tip 9. Recycle or reuse your packaging materials. Boxes and wrapping paper make up a large quantity of holiday waste.

Organically compost the rest

If you don’t have space in your garden to compost your present-day waste, you could always try a more traditional approach and use a compost bin. If you’ve been given a gift that you don’t have any use for, you could always gift it to a local charity. Just make sure to do your research before you donate to make sure your gift ends up in the right hands.
Help others feel good this Christmas by donating to a cause you care about.
If you don’t need a gift item or if you’ve already gift-cycled them, consider donating them to a charity that helps others. You might find that others feel just as special receiving a gift you donated as they would receiving something brand new. It’s the thought that counts, after all, and giving to charity is a gift that keeps giving. If you’re buying gifts for someone who is environmentally conscious, you could always donate to their favourite charity in their name. This way, they’ll feel good knowing they’re helping others while you feel good knowing you’ve donated to a cause you care about. This is a win-win situation that could leave both of you feeling very generous indeed.

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, reducing your environmental impact can be a challenge. It can be even more difficult to do this during the holiday season with so many gifts needing to be purchased. These tips will help you to reduce the waste from Christmas presents this year and every year from now on. It may take a little bit of extra effort, but the effort will be worth it in the end. You’ll be helping to protect the planet and leaving a smaller impact on it for future generations to deal with!
Tip 10. Have fun and enjoy the time with your family

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