Christmas is almost upon us, as is the pressure to buy each other gifts as part of the celebrations. This can potentially put a financial strain on many people and also increase the amount of waste that goes to landfill. It is estimated that an additional 30 per cent of waste is produced in the UK during the festive period, resulting in approximately three million tonnes of rubbish. So, this Christmas, aim to be mindful when buying gifts and help to protect our planet with these sustainable gifting tips from our Sustainability Advisor, Derek Walter.

There are many ways to be more sustainable when gifting, starting with the all-important question; do you really need to buy this gift? Could you agree with the recipient not to exchange presents, or buy an experience instead of a physical gift? Also be mindful when requesting gifts.

1) Give memories. Buy event tickets, experience days or memberships instead of physical presents.

2) Give your time. Give ‘Help decorating’ vouchers and share your skills.

3) Upcycle. Refinish small furnishings and repurpose old toys instead of buying new.

4) Buy second hand. Some second hand items have hardly been used, buy from places such as eBay or charity shops.

5) Make. Bake cakes or cookies, infuse your favourite tipple or craft a gift to give.

6) Buy ethically. Chose the ethical or organic option or use social enterprises.

7) Buy. As a last resort, mindfully buy something new. Will the recipient use the gift, is it something they want?

You could also Buy Social; it couldn’t be easier to give #PresentsWithPurpose and really make a difference to people’s lives this Christmas, simply by buying your gifts from a social enterprise. Whether that’s coffee providing jobs for people experiencing homelessness, clothing made by migrant women struggling to find work, handmade chocolates creating employment for people with autism or luxury skincare supporting people with disabilities.

Why not have a look at this year’s Buy Social gift guide?

When wrapping your gifts try to avoid foil backed or glittery wrapping paper, this is not recyclable and could just end up in landfill. Instead opt for the 100 per cent paper type which can be recycled. Better still you could get some plain brown wrapping paper and decorate it yourself for a truly unique design – this way you could compost the paper as well as being a fun family activity.