With Christmas just around the corner, we’ll soon see the inevitable unwanted gifts, glittery wrapping paper, and endless plates of festive snacks.

But with many of us looking for sustainable alternatives to look after our planet this festive season, perhaps we can leave the unnecessary plastic and food waste behind.

At Refurbs, we’re sharing our favourite tips for a more sustainable Christmas:

1 – Use Recyclable Paper

Did you know that Brits use around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year? Avoid using shiny gift wrap as this can’t be recycled – the glossy, foil-like wrapping papers use a mixture of materials that can’t be easily separated for recycling purposes.

There is a lot of bright and beautiful wrapping paper out there that doesn’t have to end up in landfill, much of which has been made from recycled paper itself so be sure to keep an eye out when choosing your wrap.

2 – Send an E-card rather than a Physical Christmas Card

A staggering 1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away by UK households each year, according to Imperial College researchers. So why not try sending an e-card this year instead?

3 – Reuse Last Year’s Christmas Cards to Make Gift Labels

Why not repurpose your old cards and turn them into gift labels? You’ll save money on gift tags, free up some drawer space, and make sure your old cards aren’t going straight into the bin.

4 – DIY Decorations

For many, unboxing and dusting off Christmas decorations marks the start of the festive season. It’s also a great time to get the whole family involved by making your own decorations.

Decorations made from recycled wood, fabric, and glass make great alternatives to plastic or PVC options that are non-recyclable.

5 – Rethink your Christmas Cracker Habits

The ever-popular Christmas cracker can also be a huge contributor to waste in the UK. Most cannot be recycled, and the plastic toys normally end up in the bin before the meal is even over. Keep an eye out for recyclable and plastic free crackers – you can even find reusable crackers in some shops.

6 – Christmas Tree Options

The most sustainable option for a Christmas tree completely depends on your situation. If you live close to somewhere that grows or sells Christmas trees and can perhaps grow a new tree in its place, then that is ultimately the best option for a tree.

Or if you’re buying a plastic Christmas tree, make sure that you’re going to reuse it for at least 10 years

7 – Cut Food Waste

Plan your food needs in advance to reduce the impact on the planet and shop for local, organic produce whenever possible.

Most of us are pretty good at getting creative with our leftovers throughout the year, but when Christmas comes we can be a little more wasteful.

When you're food shopping, try and choose things that are light on packaging, or buy loose items. If you end up over-catering, don't just bin what's left. Transforming leftovers can be a great way to create new meals, save money and cut waste.

8 – Rewear your Christmas Jumper

Environmental charity Hubbub warns against buying new Christmas jumpers after finding that up to 95% of them are made using plastic.

If you're looking for second hand Christmas decorations this festive season, visit our showrooms in Flint to find items sure to brighten up your home. Plus, you’ll get the added benefit of supporting a fantastic local charity when you purchase.