Christmas countdown…

With just a few days to go until Christmas, most of us are racing around desperately trying to buy last minute gifts. 

Written By Zero Waste Scotland  |  23 Dec 10

 But in return will you receive everything on your Santa list? Chances are at least one of the festively wrapped packages under your tree contains an unwanted kitchen gadget, pair of novelty socks, or cheesy CD.

Recent research by comparison website shows that every year half a billion pounds are wasted on unwanted presents, but instead of letting them gather dust in your cupboard or rot away in the bin, here are a few suggestions on how to make a bad gift good….

  • Charities are crying out for donations at this time of year, and by giving them your unwanted gifts, you’ll find a deserved new owner as well as helping out a good cause. And while you’re there, why not take along any other unwanted items you have gathering dust at home – anything in good condition can also be donated to your local charity shop. As well as dropping gifts into your local branch, you can use website JumbleAID, which allows you to post an item, choose from thousands of charities, and sell your item on auction, with all profit going to your selected charity.
  • Alternatively, why don’t you try passing your gift along to someone else. You can keep unwanted gifts, re-wrap, and give them to someone you know will appreciate them (just make sure you don’t return them to the original sender!). WebsiteRegiftable has lots of handy tips and inspiring stories about experiences recycling gifts in this way. Or try joining up with friends in a similar position to trade unwanted presents with each other.
  • Get creative and use your gift for another purpose. Unravel that ugly jumper, take apart those vulgar earrings, and find a way to reassemble and enjoy the present you were given.

And as you do your last minute shopping, bear in mind that last year 63% of UK adults received one or more gifts they didn’t want, so consider buying vouchers or make sure you include a gift receipt!

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