Greener gifts for a low-carbon Christmas

Image of gifts under Christmas tree
Greener Christmas gifts

Published Friday, 11th December 2020

Reducing your Christmas carbon footprint doesn’t mean being a Scrooge – there are plenty of options for giving which don’t cost the earth.

With Christmas just around the corner, many of us have already hung up our decorations and started buying presents. But the combination of Christmas lights, food and gifts mean our carbon emissions skyrocket during this time of year. Reducing your Christmas carbon footprint doesn’t mean being a Scrooge though – there are plenty of options for giving which don’t cost the earth.

What you can do

  • Visit the Kimpton Community Reuse Shop to buy or donate furniture, toys, home electronics.
  • Transform your unloved furniture.
  • Not all gifts have to be material – give your time and talents to help your loved ones with a task. You can make a token or a card so that there’s something to present on the day.
  • Give a gift card – exercise classes for the fitness fanatic in your life, or crafting courses for someone handy. There are lots of local providers, including Sutton College.
  • There’s nothing wrong with giving a present you’ve received to someone else. Top items include alcohol, perfume, aftershave, chocolate, books, jewellery and gift vouchers.

What Sutton Council is doing

We’ve created a reuse map of all the places in the borough where you can buy second hand or donate your things.

Our Kimpton Household Reuse and Recycling Centre also houses the Community Reuse Shop. They take and repair all sorts of things before selling them (at a low cost). 

How this affects the climate emergency

Waste and consumption peak over the Christmas period, with UK waste going up by 30%. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day alone are estimated to be responsible for 5% of UK greenhouse gas emissions.