Greetings all and welcome to the last Shades of Green post of the decade! (Not to sound old, but I (Emma) swear 2012 was only like two years ago.)
Now, as this is our post-Christmas blog and I’ve been focused intensely on minimalising all year, I’ve written all about the most eco-friendly ways to dispose of unwanted gifts.
What can you do when you receive two DVDs of The Greatest Showman? Or a multi-pack of plain underwear? Or a subscription to Amazon Prime? (They don’t pay their tax, I’m not paying for their TV.)
Well, read on to find the best way to re-use your present. All of them more planet-friendly than storing them in the back of your closet for the rest of time.
(Although, that ugly sweater knitted by your aunt with your initials on… you’ll have to suck it up. You can always put it in the cat basket and say “she won’t sleep without it”.)
Some presents that you receive are unable to be returned; maybe they’ve been bought at a craft market or maybe it’s an Amazon Prime gift card when you’re a Netflix person. It might not be right for you but for someone else, it’s perfect. Especially if their birthday is close to Christmas- luckily, I don’t want presents this year.
eBay generally has free listings on items in January. I haven’t seen it advertised this year but it’s one of the quickest ways to get rid of your unwanted presents. (Who wants to do a car-boot in the winter?)
There is nothing to be ashamed of with returning presents. This post-holiday season, I will be returning some cosmetics that I suspect are tested on animals and this book (okay, it’s not actually this book but putting the real book up would be mean).
A note on store policy
Most stores will have a grace period after the holidays where presents can be returned without the receipt for the current value. Be aware that this may be less than was paid for it because stores have their sales on; you can make the most of it by buying something you’ll make use of from the sale items.
I tend to exchange at supermarkets, where I exchange the item for food.
If you aren’t keen on these options; then as opposed to putting the items in charity shops (they get so full after Christmas), you prioritise direct action groups as money is often scarce in these places due to government budget cuts. (And ones that will no doubt come in the next 5+ years of Johnson!)
Items like clothing, toiletries, and toys will be well received by your local homeless shelter, domestic abuse shelter, or children’s home; they can be rewrapped as presents for residents’ birthdays or used by residents in common areas.
Homeless shelters will generally advertise their locations but domestic abuse refuges don’t so you may have to send a couple of speculative emails before you can arrange donations.