How to wrap up Christmas in a sustainable way

Christmas is a great time for giving and receiving – but that can also mean packaging and a lot of unwanted stuff ending up in the bin, including our electricals. In the UK we buy 53.5 million electrical items in the weeks between Black Friday and Christmas. However, our research found that 5 million electrical items are then abandoned, and either thrown away or stashed away to gather dust in UK homes. 

As we bid farewell to the festive season, many of us are making a conscious effort to kick off the new year with eco-friendly resolutions. If you’re looking to reduce waste and make sustainable choices after Christmas, keep reading for our top tips:

  1. Recycle your Christmas wrapping paper: Not all wrapping paper can be recycled so it’s important to recycle the ones you can. Some wrapping paper will say “Widely recycled” on. If you’re uncertain, try the “Scrunch test” – if the paper stays scrunched up, it’s recyclable; if it unfolds or pops back open, it cannot be recycled.
  1. Upcycle Christmas decorations: Instead of discarding worn-out Christmas decorations, why not upcycle them? Numerous online tutorials offer creative ideas to repair or transform your decorations into fresh, reusable pieces, ready to sparkle for another year!
  1. Reuse Christmas cards: Repurpose your Christmas cards by turning them into gift tags for future occasions. While cards with glitter and embellishments may not be recyclable, you can still give them a second life as charming and personalised gift accessories. Read this blog from Upcycle My Stuff on how to create gift tags from our old Christmas cards.
  1. Recycle your Christmas tree: After the festive season, don’t forget to recycle your Christmas tree! Many local councils offer tree collection services, and the trees can be shredded into chips for use in parks and woodland areas. For an even more eco-conscious choice, consider renting a Christmas tree next year, that can then be replanted and reused year after year. Check out Gardeners World for seven ways to recycle your Christmas tree.
  1. Donate unwanted items: If you’ve received new electrical items as gifts, don’t discard your old ones. Numerous charities and reuse organisations are eager to give your unwanted electricals a new lease of life. By donating, you also help reduce demand for raw materials, cut CO2 emissions, and support people in need by offering fantastic second-hand electricals for an affordable price!
  1. Recycle old electricals: Whether it’s broken Christmas lights or outdated electrical gadgets, make sure to recycle them responsibly. By recycling our old electricals, the precious materials inside our electricals are put to good use and turned into something new, including children’s playgrounds and life-saving equipment. Use our Recycling Locator to find your nearest electrical donation and recycling points.

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