The Christmas season brings a lot of things with it –festive spirit, celebrations, and ultimately, a lot of waste. Between presents, food, drink, and your Christmas wardrobe, a lot of stuff can end up in your black bin. However, this doesn’t have to be the case and with a few small changes, you can make an impact on our landfill sites. Here are a few top tips on how to create as little waste as possible when buying your Christmas presents this year.
1. Buy pre-loved
It’s not called second-hand, it’s called Vintage! Let’s ditch the idea that everything has to be brand new this Christmas. There are so many ways to find fantastic pre-loved pieces that would make brilliant Christmas gifts.
A lot of people like to clear out their wardrobes before Christmas so you could find a bargain in your local charity shop. Check out all the charity shops in the Derry and Strabane district here.
If you’re looking for that sold-out item from the high street; Vinted or Depop will be your best friend. Alternatively, eBay and Facebook Marketplace are great for finding furniture gems that you could up-cycle and inject a new lease of life into. Not only will you create a one-off piece that no one else will have, but you’re giving something personal that your loved one will appreciate.
2. Make memories
Take your family away for the day, or book a long weekend to that hotel you’ve always talked about. Make that trip that you’ve been chatting about for ages happen. After the last few years, we really appreciate spending quality time with our nearest and dearest, so enjoying afternoon tea with your granny will be appreciated much more than you’d ever imagine. And the best part is, it’s a completely waste-free present idea!
3. Re-think your wrapping
Don’t be fooled – a lot of wrapping paper cannot be recycled. It has to go into your black bin and will eventually end up in a landfill. This goes for bows, foil ribbon, and sticky tape too. Think of all that waste sitting under your Christmas tree!
It’s time to re-think our wrapping and make sure we use something that can either be recycled or even better, reused. Gift bags are an easy option. The unwritten rule of gift bags (no pun intended) is to not write on the tag. The recipient will be able to re-gift it in the future and the lovely little bag will have a longer life than glittery wrapping paper that would only make a mess anyways.
Another great option is using recycled brown paper or old magazines. Use a copy of Vogue to wrap your fashionable friend’s present or a comic book for the Marvel fan in your life. These can all be recycled in the blue bin.
4. Give a gift that keeps on giving
Another fantastic waste-free gift idea is a membership or subscription service. Is your friend a gym lover? Why not pay for January’s membership? Perhaps your dad always wanted to sign up for that online course but never got round to it? By giving a gift that keeps on giving, you’ll not only treat your loved ones but you’ll also create zero waste while doing so.
5. Shop smart
Santa Claus shouldn’t be the only one who’s making a list and checking it twice. Jotting down your shopping list will not only keep you focused when you’re grabbing those last-minute pieces, but will also save you from picking up unnecessary gifts that you don’t need to buy. Shop from local businesses as much as possible before the bigger online giants and eliminate any unnecessary packaging. Don’t forget to take your reusable bags when you’re going up the town. Here’s a fantastic shopping guide with independent businesses based in the Derry and Strabane district.
This also goes for the food shop. We can all get carried away with party food and those lovely treats, but the shops only close for one day, and buying little and often will save you from throwing out a lot of waste at the end of the festive season. Don’t forget to throw any food waste into your Food Caddy or into your Brown Bin in a compostable bag.
Merry Christmas and happy new year from all of us here at Derry City & Strabane District Council!