Reducing waste during festivities
By reducing and reusing, you can reduce waste during festive days and holidays.
Shopping for presents
- Avoid receiving gifts you never use by signing up to the No Unnecessary Presents Pact. This is a mutual agreement between friends not to buy gifts for the sake of it.
- Treat people to a special experience instead of an item such as theatre tickets, a subscription to a favourite magazine or a weekend of pampering at a spa.
- Find gifts from charity shops, antique markets and vintage clothing shops. You'll be giving a unique present, as well as re-using what already exists.
- Buy recycled! There are wide ranges of items that are made from recycled materials from jewellery, to jumpers. Visit recycled products guide.
- Buy rechargeable batteries for toys and electrical gadgets - for every 500 charges you’ll save 499 batteries being thrown away!
- Make your own gifts to avoid all the over packaging. Not only will it give a more personal touch it could save you money. You could try making edible gifts or be inspired by these quirky gifts made from everyday stuff.
- Buy fruit and vegetables without packaging. You can choose the best produce too.
- Buy local and seasonal - you will be helping support the local economy and reduce the distance your food travels. Travel adds substantially to CO2 emissions which is why food miles matter. For a list of local farmers markets visit www.lfm.org.uk.
- Use a reusable shopping bag or reuse old plastic bags.
Making the most of your food
- Make your freezer your friend during festivities and use it to keep food for longer to avoid food becoming waste in the first place.
- If you are cooking for more people than usual, a portion calculator may come in handy and also leftover food can be made into another delicious meal.
- For food waste that can't be eaten remember to use your food waste recycling service.
Cards, wrapping paper and decorations
- Sending free Ecards saves trees, are easily personalised and some charity websites provide designs for a donation.
- Choose charity cards and wrapping paper, made from recycled paper.
- Furoshiki is a fun and creative style of gift wrapping using a large piece of cloth to create elegant looking presents.
- Go for gift bags or boxes instead of wrapping paper. A gift bag or box can then be re-used for another occasion.
- Decorate your home with natural materials. Try using sprigs of holly, mistletoe and pinecones; these also look great around candles, mirrors or in a wreath.