What to do with unwanted gifts

December 13, 2016

Unwanted gifts worth approximately £2.6 billion are given each year, and approximately one third of us will receive something that we don’t want or need. This is just one of the reasons that Christmas is the most wasteful time of year.

So what are your options if you receive something you don’t want? We’re not talking about etiquette here – this is a short guide to making sure that your unwanted gift doesn’t linger in the back of a cupboard for years before becoming landfill:

  1. Swap it – There is no shame in asking the gift giver for the receipt so you can take the unwanted gift back to the shop to exchange it for something that you do want.
  2. Sell it – There are a multitude of ways to sell items via online auction sites. Don’t forget that a good old fashioned note in a local shop is just as likely o produce results, you could also advertise your item in the classified listing of your local newspaper, or take it to your local car boot sale.
  3. Give it away – Someone somewhere will want your unwanted item, its just a case of finding that person. If you can’t think of anyone you know, try a service like freecycle or freegle to widen the search. You can also recruit the help of your local charity shop by donating the item to them. They will gain benefit when it is sold (remember to gift aid to maximise that benefit). Remember that not all charity shops are able to accept electrical items – so its worth checking first: http://www.charityretail.org.uk/find-a-charity-shop/
  4. Upcycle it – The internet is a great source of inspiration, try looking here: http://www.upcyclethat.com/upcycling-inspiration/
  5. Recycle it – If you have been unlucky enough to have been given something that you can’t give away (even to the person that gave it to you), please do make every effort to recycle your item rather than disposing of it in the general waste where it will ultimately go to landfill.