7 ways to reduce waste this Christmas

Fed up with all the usual Christmas waste? Here are seven practical ways to cut back without spoiling the fun.

It’s tempting to clear the supermarket shelves and cover everything in glitter, but sometimes less is more… even at Christmas. Enjoy a leaner, greener Christmas this year without losing any of the sparkle.

  1. Buy goods with less packaging. That fruit and veg you’ve been buying probably doesn’t need the plastic wrap, and don’t even get us started on kids’ toys. Look for items that don’t rely on unnecessary plastic to make them look more appealing. You’ll thank yourself when you aren’t frantically searching for a pair of scissors every five minutes over the festive period.
  2. Give handmade gifts. You don’t have to splurge on expensive shop-bought items this Christmas. It’s much more special to receive a jar of homemade jam or chutney, a piece of jewellery or pottery or woodwork, or a knitted hat and scarf than something off the shelf. If you’re not able to create a gift from scratch, why not upcycle something you already have and give that?
  3. Scrap the wrap. Many people are swapping glittery wrapping paper for brown or recycled paper this year. Even old newspaper, magazines or tissue paper can look really effective. Pretty it up with a bit of ribbon or a gift tag, and hey presto!
  4. Send ecards. If you’re planning on sending a ton of Christmas cards, why not email them rather than using all that paper? It’s far cheaper and you can do it from the comfort of your own home. People will still know that you care, and they can keep your ecard forever without it cluttering up their homes.
  5. Write a detailed grocery list. Write down everything you need (note that we didn’t say want) this Christmas, including a few luxury items if you have the funds. Then stick to it! Don’t be sucked in by the three for two offers. Remember that the shops will only be closed for a day or two, so there is no need for panic buying.
  6. Consider organising a gift swap. Instead of buying new, you could get together with friends and arrange a gift swap, either for yourselves or for the children in your family. Maybe that scarf you never wear or that book your child no longer reads would be someone else’s dream gift. That way you won’t have to spend any money on unnecessary gifts and you might even clear some space in your cupboards.
  7. Give gifts of kindness. Alternatively, you could give others your time or talents. Offer to do the school run or babysit for a neighbour once a month in 2021 or pledge your time to do someone’s ironing or help out with their Saturday football league. Think of ways to help someone with an ongoing need rather than simply buying them another pair of musical socks or a funny mug.
  8. Get rid of unwanted goods responsibly. Set unwanted clothes or toys aside for the local charity shop or homeless shelter. Sell, swap or give away unwanted Christmas presents. Recycle everything you can, including your Christmas tree, and compost all your food waste to give your garden and the environment a much-needed boost.

The best gift you can give this Christmas is to tell people about Jesus, the reason for the season. Why not cut out all the unnecessary extras this year and focus on sharing the good news instead? Jesus really is the gift who keeps on giving… and there is absolutely no expense or waste involved!