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Eight ways to make Christmas work for the planet

4 mins
27 Dec 2022
Eight ways to make Christmas work for the planet

Make a Christmas commitment to the circular economy

image Mike Kemp / Getty

words Team Woo

We’ve all been there. You’ve been given a present you’re not quite into, but the receipts are gone and there’s no polite way to work out where the stuff has come from. You don’t want to just leave it in a drawer or down the back of a cupboard to be forgotten about, but you don’t want to throw it away either. Perhaps you’ve even got a whole slew of shiny new stuff and you want to get rid of the now-old responsibly. Basically, it is no secret that Christmas can cause a hell of a lot of waste. You can help offset this, however, by making your unwanted gifts and surplus gear part of the circular economy.

The circular economy involves sharing, reusing, repairing, reselling or recycling old products, whether that’s clothes, books, homeware or even tech. You probably wouldn’t want to sell the brand new phone you got as a gift, but what will you do with your old one?

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Fashion resale sites have become popular ways to get rid of old clothes and even earn extra income on the side, but now you can do the same with your old phones, too.

The International Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) forum’s global report recently found that 5.3 billion mobile phones will be thrown away across this year. Meanwhile, households across Britain have an estimated total of 15 million phones stashed in their attics.

Here’s how to make your Christmas want-nots part of the circular economy.

Head to eBay

You can’t go wrong with the OG reselling platform. It’s your one-stop shop for selling everything from old clothes to homewares, furniture and more.

Sell your old tech via the O2 Recycle scheme

Sell your old phone, tablet, watch or Airpods using O2’s Recycle scheme. Simply search your device’s model to see how much it could be worth – you don’t even need to be on the O2 network to benefit. It’s a great way to make some money for your old devices and recycle them sustainably.

Pass onto a friend or family member

Before the era of Depop, eBay and all the rest, the most popular way to pass on old belongings was through friends and family. If you’ve grown out of something – physically or emotionally – why not pass it onto someone you know who will love it?

List your old clothes on Depop

Got clothes and accessories you don’t wear anymore? Fashion’s favourite reselling app is one of the easiest ways to buy and sell old clothes to give them new life.

Gift your old smartphone to Virgin Media O2’s Community Calling scheme

Gift your old smartphone to someone in need with Virgin Media O2 and Hubbub's Community Calling scheme, where they’ll also receive free mobile data from the National Databank. ‘Tis the season for giving, after all.

Donate to your local charity shop

If you’ve recently had a clear-out of clothes and homeware that could be reused, you could drop them off at your local charity shop. This option is great if you want to give these pieces a new home, but you don’t think they’d be worth the effort of uploading them to a resale site.

List your old clothes on Vinted

Vinted is another useful option for selling unwanted clothes. The straightforward listing process works similarly to other popular resale sites.

Visit your local recycling centre

Got large household items that are past the point of being used? You can pay a visit to your local recycling centre if you have any large items that are past the point of being used, such as fridges or freezers, large appliances or furniture.

This feature has been brought to you in partnership with Virgin Media O2, which is working to create a greener, more sustainable world for everyone with its Better Connections Plan.

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