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Thursday, 3 December 2009

Christmas Shopping

I don't even like to think about Christmas shopping until December. But December is here whether I'm ready or not.

This year I want to make a more conscious effort to ensure that the presents I give don't contribute to the ever increasing landfill problem, so I've been having a good look at the packaging of everything I buy.

Yesterday, I raided the cupboard under the stairs and retrieved all the Christmas gift bags from last year ( or the year before, or the year before that maybe!). I found 15 bags. I have now bought two rolls of wrapping paper from Oxfam, made of 100% recycled paper and which can, of course, be recycled after use.

I've bought a few bottles of wine. I know that won't go to waste and most people that I know these days recycle their glass. Every ton of recycled glass used saves 1.2 tons of raw material.
I also bought some big tins of Quality Street. It tells you on the box that the outer coloured wrapper can be composted, the inner aluminium recycles just like a drinks can and of course the tin can be used again and again until it gets so battered it too needs to be recycled.

Books will certainly be featuring in my Christmas purchases - no packaging and they can be passed on to friends or charity shops when people have finished with them. If you feel bad about writers missing out on royalties when you pass on books to friends, have a look to see if they have websites where you can donate the equivalent sum of money they would have received in royalties if the book had been bought new.

Toys are always the things I'm most wary of, packaging wise and so I've decided to try and get the shopping done this week so I'm not making last minute decisions that tend to stop me from even considering what packaging surrounds the gift. Hopefully that way, too, I won't be responsible for frustrated children and parents spending hours trying to find their way into the toys through the hundred completely useless layers of plastic and cardboard wired and glued together, supposedly to make something look better than it is.

Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!

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