Eco-friendly ideas for unwanted Christmas gifts

Don’t leave your unwanted Christmas gifts to gather dust or sit in landfill. Around Christmas time, it’s expected 52% of people will receive an unwanted gift. Yet regifting, second-hand giving and reselling gifts are often shunned. 

We’ve all been there. Through gritted teeth, you tell the gift giver how much you love it – while already thinking of ways you can get rid of it. Not wanting a gift doesn’t make you a bad person. Nor does finding another home for your unwanted gifts. In fact, it’s a very eco-friendly thing to do! 

Let’s lose the shame around dealing with unwanted gifts and focus on the environmentally-friendly benefits which include:

  • Preventing perfectly good items from ending up in landfill.
  • Stopping new items from needing to be created when many are available. 
  • Allowing others to purchase needed items for lower prices. 

Now you know why you should get rid of unwanted Christmas gifts, here are 8 ways to do it: 

Eco-friendly ideas for unwanted Christmas gifts


Ask the gift giver if they kept the receipt and if they mind you returning or swapping the item. You can always save their feelings by saying it doesn’t fit, isn’t the right colour or you know of a more useful item instead. Many online retailers allow confidential returns without receipts too. 


Can we please lose the stigma around regifting? There is absolutely nothing wrong, tacky or shameful around giving something you don’t need or want to someone who does. Regift with pride, eco warriors!


eBay is the home of unwanted Christmas gifts. Snap a few photos and list your presents in just a few minutes. Your unwanted Christmas gifts can then be found by someone who wants or needs them. 


List your items for local pick up and cash exchange on Gumtree. It’s a great way to make some extra money while clearing out clutter. You can also list things for free if you’re simply trying to get rid of them.  

Facebook Marketplace

Similar to Gumtree, Facebook marketplace allows you to advertise things for local pick up. 


While a gift might not be to your taste, you may have a friend or relative who feels differently. Ask if anyone is up for a swap. 


Allow your unwanted gifts to give back to worthwhile causes by donating them to charities and secondhand shops. Many provide collection services so you can do this from the comfort of your home. 


In their original form, your unwanted Christmas gifts might not be your thing. But with a few little tweaks, they just might be. Get crafty and creative to see if you can turn them into something else. 

Don’t leave your unwanted Christmas gifts to become clutter. The most eco-friendly choice is to find them a place where they are wanted or needed - because there’s enough stuff on this planet.