Buy a hand-crafted ceramic daffodil from the Ten Thousand Daffodils installation

30 Steps: Leisure

Step 20 : ‘Stuff’ and gifts

The Problem: wasteful, high resources use, high carbon footprint
The Solution: buy less, reuse, second-hand, repair
  • As a modern society we consume so many unnecessary things. Incessant advertising and changed priorities means sometimes we just cannot resist buying the latest gadget or a new item of clothing. Stop and think about what you really need to buy and whether items themselves really make you happy.
  • If you need something, can you get it secondhand? Sites like ebay and gumtree or Freecycle are useful or visit your local charity shop.
  • When it comes to gifts, Buy gifts that will allow people to contribute to being environmentally friendly from Christmas onwards e.g. Reusable coffee/tea cups; reusable water bottle. Rather than buying things – we consume too much stuff that have huge carbon footprints – buy experiences e.g. theatre tickets, memberships to National Trust/Woodland Trust, subscriptions or meals out. Research how ethically the gifts you are buying have been made and try and support small ethical businesses. Don’t buy gifts that you know will end up in the bin in a month’s time! See for loads of fab ideas. (import triangle)
  • When it comes to technology, again secondhand is probably the best option. Sites like Music Magpie offer refurbished phones and there are similar sites for laptops and other gadgets.

Initial cost


Lifetime savings


Environmental benefits


Health benefits