DoP Green (team) tips for a sustainable Christmas

Have a jolly holly sustainable Christmas!

Green christmas presents

Christmas often means presents. And that can be loads of presents. However, Christmas can also be the perfect time to reflect on how we buy presents (at any time) and how sustainable our habits are. In this section, we zoom in on Christmas presents and provide you with some tips for green gifting!

Stick to the wish list

If your loved ones have put together a wish list, it might seem boring to actually choose presents from that list. But from a sustainable point of view this is actually a good idea. By choosing from the list, you know that you are giving the recipient something that they want and intend to use. This reduces the risk of giving (and receiving) presents that are never used and may go to waste.

Buy second-hand or re-gift

Whatever you want or need, you might be able to buy second hand. It is very sustainable (and sometimes cheaper) to give second-hand presents rather than buying new items. Search charity shops or second-hand online stores or apps to find the items you need. You can also consider gifting items that you no longer use yourself.

A sustainable culture can mean that second-hand presents are acceptable. When people are likely to be planning to give you something, you can make it clear that you do not mind getting second-hand or re-gifted items. It is 2022, second-hand is sexy, and re-gifting is responsible!

Buy more sustainable presents

If you are buying something brand new, then try to avoid buying (or requesting) low-quality items that only can be used a few times before having to be thrown away. Instead, buy fewer items of high quality that last longer. By buying more quality items, companies are also put under pressure to stop producing low-quality, unsustainable items.

Also, if you have several options to choose from, and can afford it, then you should consider buying the item that has been most sustainably produced. You can also consider giving presents such as tickets for events and other things that you can do together, or for things that you might do for someone. Who doesn’t love a nice trip to a museum, concert tickets, a home-cooked meal, or getting their entire house cleaned?

Avoid unnecessary wrapping

Every year a lot of money is spent on wrapping paper that most often just gets thrown out. Use alternative materials for wrapping your Christmas presents such as cloth, newspaper, pages from magazines, tablecloths or buy re-usable wrapping paper (and remember to use it). You can also save and reuse the wrapping from your presents and use it to wrap future presents.

Do you actually need that many presents?

On a final, and, for some people, perhaps more radical, note, you could also consider reducing or not giving Christmas presents. You could donate to a charity instead, and/or you can agree with your loved ones that you each only give one other person a gift instead of buying presents for everyone. In this way, the presents are likely to be more well-considered. (BONUS: you avoid a lot of stressful Christmas shopping).