Christmas Shopping & Gifts

Themes: Children, Christmas

Impact:
Effort:
Cost saving:
£: No up-front costs

Description

Each year in the UK, we generate £700m of unwanted presents, that’s on average £27 per household. (source: eBay).

A 2022 survey of 2,009 British adults found that over half of respondents received 3 unwanted gifts the previous Christmas.

Of the estimated 21 million Brits receiving a gift they don’t want, nearly a quarter kept (but never used) them and 6 per cent threw away into landfill.

The average amount spent on unwanted presents was over £40.

Here are 10 ways we can avoid waste:

  1. Ask people what they want. A surprise is nice, but something you actually want is even better!
  2. Before you buy, ask yourself – does the person you’re buying for really need or want what you’re thinking of buying? Imagine how happy they would be having something they already own being repaired like Nobby & Jim do so well!
  3. Keep the receipt and make sure you check if the person you’ve given it to really wants it. It might sting that you’ve not chosen their dream gift, but at least they can swap for something they like and will use.
  4. Do you have something at home that could be re-purposed, like Avril or re-gifted
  5. Do you need to buy something new? Why not check out what treasures your local charity shop has on offer like Becky, or visit sites such as: Facebook Marketplace, eBay, DePop or Vinted.
  6. Make your own gifts, from baked goods to decorations, handmade gifts can be truly personal and treasured by their recipients
  7. Do you need to buy for each person in your family or friendship group? Could you organise a Secret Santa and agree a budget? It may be everyone in the group is relieved and happy!
  8. Rather than buying ‘stuff’ consider whether the recipient would perhaps prefer a gift of time, experiences, such as a massage, meal out or cinema ticket, classes, memberships or consumables. Though worth bearing in mind not all experiences are lower carbon – a day driving round a race track might not be the best choice…
  9. If you are buying presents, avoid battery operated items – or go with re-chargeable batteries
  10. When buying gifts, aim for local and sustainable big online retailers may appear cheaper, but factoring in the cost of postage, or adding other items to get free postage can make the total add up! Plus you miss out on the fun of finding something special and festive shops.

Useful links

The best guide to Bristol’s wonderful high streets around the city:  Where’s it to? Bristol High Streets

Discover Bristol’s Shopping Quarter: Shop the Indies – Bristol Shopping Quarter

A list of the “59 best independent shops in Bristol” 

Christmas Shopping & Gifts

Themes: Children, Christmas

Impact:
Effort:
Cost saving:
£: No up-front costs

Description

Each year in the UK, we generate £700m of unwanted presents, that’s on average £27 per household. (source: eBay).

A 2022 survey of 2,009 British adults found that over half of respondents received 3 unwanted gifts the previous Christmas.

Of the estimated 21 million Brits receiving a gift they don’t want, nearly a quarter kept (but never used) them and 6 per cent threw away into landfill.

The average amount spent on unwanted presents was over £40.

Here are 10 ways we can avoid waste:

  1. Ask people what they want. A surprise is nice, but something you actually want is even better!
  2. Before you buy, ask yourself – does the person you’re buying for really need or want what you’re thinking of buying? Imagine how happy they would be having something they already own being repaired like Nobby & Jim do so well!
  3. Keep the receipt and make sure you check if the person you’ve given it to really wants it. It might sting that you’ve not chosen their dream gift, but at least they can swap for something they like and will use.
  4. Do you have something at home that could be re-purposed, like Avril or re-gifted
  5. Do you need to buy something new? Why not check out what treasures your local charity shop has on offer like Becky, or visit sites such as: Facebook Marketplace, eBay, DePop or Vinted.
  6. Make your own gifts, from baked goods to decorations, handmade gifts can be truly personal and treasured by their recipients
  7. Do you need to buy for each person in your family or friendship group? Could you organise a Secret Santa and agree a budget? It may be everyone in the group is relieved and happy!
  8. Rather than buying ‘stuff’ consider whether the recipient would perhaps prefer a gift of time, experiences, such as a massage, meal out or cinema ticket, classes, memberships or consumables. Though worth bearing in mind not all experiences are lower carbon – a day driving round a race track might not be the best choice…
  9. If you are buying presents, avoid battery operated items – or go with re-chargeable batteries
  10. When buying gifts, aim for local and sustainable big online retailers may appear cheaper, but factoring in the cost of postage, or adding other items to get free postage can make the total add up! Plus you miss out on the fun of finding something special and festive shops.

Useful links

The best guide to Bristol’s wonderful high streets around the city:  Where’s it to? Bristol High Streets

Discover Bristol’s Shopping Quarter: Shop the Indies – Bristol Shopping Quarter

A list of the “59 best independent shops in Bristol” 

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Let us know what you think is missing – or tell us about something else you do to reduce your impact.