A sustainable Christmas: Gifts

Published 26 November 2021

The shops have been bursting with festive products for weeks already, and now is a great time to start planning ahead, if you haven’t already, and see how you can make the festive season more sustainable. Little changes really can make a big difference to your budget, the environment, and the enjoyment of the day.  

Each year in the UK, as much as £42 million worth of Christmas gifts are unwanted and sent to landfill each year.  

Take a look at some great ideas on how to save on waste, save some money, give meaningful gifts, and reduce your impact on the environment in the process.


Gift experiences

Gift experiences are a great way to reduce packaging and clutter at Christmas. Pantomime tickets, days out or contributions to trips away can all be massively appreciated.

Support local

Support local or independent businesses rather than bigger companies like Amazon. Visit your local Christmas markets and craft fairs to see what you can find.

DIY gifts

Make your own gifts by baking, brewing your own mulled wine or homemade crafts.

 The gift of time

A loved one may appreciate a day out a future offer of babysitting or helping a friend out with a big project they’ve got planned.

 Wish list

To make sure you get what you want, send out a wish list. This means you won’t waste as many unwanted gifts. Think ahead and update these lists throughout the year when you see things you like, so come Christmas and birthdays you have an answer when people ask you what you’d like.

 Quality not quantity

We might all miss the days of emptying out dozens of tiny presents from stockings and unwrapping them all in a frenzy of paper, but buying fewer, meaningful gifts that the receiver will want, enjoy and use is much better, as it reduces the amount  we throw away at Christmas.

Secret Santa

Instead of spending money on lots of gifts for all your friends or family, suggest a secret Santa. There are apps and websites available that allow you to anonymously submit some wish list ideas within the agreed price range to give your gift giver some hints.

Celebrate together

For a large group, consider putting some money in a pot and put it towards a joint activity, like a meal to celebrate and spend time together.

Personalise it

Avoid pre-packaged gift boxes as ‘filler’ presents. Consider making your own gift bags, boxes or hampers with products the recipient likes or you know they will use. This way you reduce plastic and make the gift more personal. The recipient can even reuse the gift bags or hampers.

For more ideas on how to save money at Christmas, or to learn more about living more sustainably contact our sustainability team on 0345 8 507 507 or email sustainabilityteam@wdh.co.uk.

Contact the Cash Wise team on 01977 724651, or go to the Cash Wise website www.getcashwise.co.uk, email cashwise@wdh.co.uk, visit the Facebook page getcashwise or Instagram page getcashwise.


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