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Tell Whirli your tips for little ways you can make Christmas more eco-friendly: £200 voucher prize

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  • I use the same fabric advent calendars that I made myself and fill them with different useful things as well as the odd sweet. My family reuses the same wrapping paper for gifts every year and have done since I was little. We use string to tie up the presents so the paper isn't ripped. It gets folded and put back in a box as soon as a present is opened. I haven't bought wrapping paper for years. Any that gets tatty is recycled. We use linen napkins. 
    Many of the presents are second hand from charity shops or we do 'activity' presents to create memories rather than physical things no one really needs. I try not to buy things just for the sake of having presents. I make crackers from leftover bits and pieces and paper or tissue received from presents from other people.
    Anything unwanted is passed to charity shops, recycling centres or food wise to my chickens or compost heap.
  • I get my son 3 gifts, something he wants, something he needs and something to read. 
    I try to steer clear of the plastic novelty toys  
  • I only buy things that aren’t in plastic now or second hand items that my daughter wants. Wrapping wise I use vegan printed paper or just brown paper that my daughter decorated with an ink pad and stamps and eco friendly tape. I reuse gift bags and I try to by local handmade items for relatives.
  • Make sure that your wrapping paper is recyclable. So many aren’t and we use so much paper that this is a quick win. 
  • Making presents for family members and get the kids involved, it'd fun for the kids, you spend quality time and everyone gets a meaningful present that didn't cost a fortune and made of recycled materials. 
  • We don't buy a load of junk for Christmas presents and swop amongst ourselves and other parents so that the children get different toys and games without spending a fortune and recycling too.  I save big fancy ads in the newspapers and use this to creatively wrap Christmas presents too!
  • I save wrapping paper from prior years that is not damaged and use to wrap kids presents. It only stays on for seconds and they dont notice it being re-used. No brainer.
  • Small children probably won't recognise (Or care!) if their gift comes from Facebook marketplace or John Lewis
  • We buy secondhand toys for our 2 grand daughters and use recycled  wrapping  paper
  • I use a re-usable advent calendar, use brown paper wrapping, make hand made gifts and donate old toys and books to charity
  • We’ll be getting a potted Christmas tree this year so we can put it in the garden and use it again next year. I’ve bought quite a few second hand gifts too. I’m also being more mindful at making sure the wrapping paper and cards I choose are fully recyclable - no glitter or foil bits
  • I have tried to purchase 2nd hand gifts or locally sourced, we are not wrapping this year but treasure hunting instead involving a simple number game to find them
  • I do a craft day with my daughters and create present tags with the Christmas cards which we received from last year. I always encourage them to recycle and reuse.
  • For friends and family presents, I’ve bought photo frames from the charity shop and had lovely photos from the year printed to put inside. There’s zero plastic and reusing lovely photo frames, these make lovely gifts. 
  • Every year I cut up all the Christmas cards I get to make gift tags for the following year. Learnt that tip off my Grandma. :)
  • We have bought annual passes for the Zoo and National Trust rather than lots of presents.   This gives use lots of days out and enjoyment for the year and helps get us outdoors.  Flowers are my main gift to family and we all agreed on a small set amount to spend. Just a few bought presents to open on the day as Christmas needs presents. 
  • Its been fun thinking of ways to become eco and getting the children to give ideas. We are not wrapping gifts in the usual way we are using newspaper. We have not bought regular advents we are hiding a gift a chocolate in a room and giving clues. (The dog found the first one though luckily he didn't eat it so we have been more sneaky). We are going to have a nut roast on Xmas Day and being more frugal over the period of Christmas whilst shopping for food to prevent waste. Get the children involved they have natural ideas that we don't always think of. 
  • With young kids buying second hand (safe) toys is definitely the way forward and stops them ending up in landfill! We also like to make our own tags from old Christmas cards, the kids love looking through them and cutting out/making the tags 
  • Buy eco-friendly cards, Christmas trees and presents
  • Good quality toys can be re-gifted when your child has outgrown them. When new, keep the original box packaging, flat packed. Thoroughly clean toy and put in original box. A typical example of toys to re-gift are wooden blocks, stacking cups and duplo Lego. It’s a good idea to make sure the family you are re-gifting to shares your eco ideas about recycling. If using wrapping paper, avoid glittery and metallic paper, as these cannot be recycled. Secret Santa is a great way to cut down on gifts which may end up in the bin. By doing a secret Santa for the adults, you buy just one gift which can be chosen carefully to match the recipient. Sourcing gifts which are ethically produced is good. Organisations like Oxfam make gifting to less fortunate people easy and much less wasteful for the planet.
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