Christmas waste: Three ways to minimise waste from unwanted gift this holiday season

As the holiday season approaches, many Australians are getting ready to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones. However, along with the joy and cheer of the season comes an increased amount of waste. In Australia, the amount of waste generated during the Christmas season is significant, and if not properly managed, it can have a negative impact on the environment.

One of the main sources of Christmas waste in Australia is unwanted gifts. Every year, Australians receive a significant number of gifts that they do not want or need. These gifts often end up being thrown away, contributing to the country's waste problem. In fact, it is estimated that Australians generate about 76 million tonnes of waste every year, with a significant portion of this waste occurring during the Christmas season.

Here are three ways that you can reduce the amount of waste generated from unwanted gifts:

Communicate better

It's nice to surprise your loved ones with thoughtful gifts, but if you're not sure, you should always with friends and family about gift preferences. By letting loved ones know what gifts are desired, we can help to ensure that they receive gifts that they will actually use and enjoy.

There are several ways that you can ask your friends about their gift preferences. One way is to simply have an open and honest conversation with them. This can be done in person, over the phone, or through a messaging app. You can ask them directly what they would like for Christmas and if there is anything in particular that they would like to receive.

Another way to ask about gift preferences is to create a wish list or gift registry. Many online retailers and websites offer the option to create a wish list, where you can add items that you would like to receive as gifts. You can then share your wish list with your friends and family, making it easy for them to see what you would like for Christmas.

You can also use social media to ask about gift preferences. Many people use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to share their interests and hobbies, and you can use this information to get an idea of what your friends might like for Christmas. You can also post a general question on your social media feed, asking your friends and followers what they would like for Christmas and if they have any specific gift preferences.

Give the gift of options

Another way to reduce waste from unwanted gifts is to offer flexible gifts, such as gift cards. They're great for so many reasons: First, they allow the recipient to choose their own gift, which means that they are more likely to receive something that they actually want and will use. Second, gift cards are more sustainable than physical gifts, as they do not require any packaging materials or transportation, which can reduce their environmental impact. Finally, gift cards are convenient and easy to use, making them a popular choice among many people. 

Choose secondhand

Finally, gifting secondhand items is becoming increasingly popular as people become more environmentally conscious. Did you know that nearly 70% of people are open to receiving secondhand gifts? This trend is being driven by a growing awareness of the environmental impact of consumerism, as well as a desire to save money and support local communities.  

Overall, the amount of waste generated from unwanted gifts in Australia is significant, and it is important for Australians to take steps to reduce their waste and promote sustainability. By communicating with loved ones about gift preferences, giving gift cards and choosing secondhand, each of us can help to make the holiday season more sustainable and enjoyable for everyone.

Also read: 12 Easy DIY Tips to Recycle Old Clothes

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