Make do and mend: Love Christmas, Hate Waste


A Christmas wreath made from old magazines

I was exploring the Essex County Council website today and ended up on the Recycle for Essex site. Here you can find some excellent advice on reducing waste and lots of ideas on how to be creative with waste generally rather than dumping it. I love this make do and mend mentality.

Christmas crafts

There are some brilliant Christmas craft ideas. I like these gift bows made from old magazines.

You can also make gift bags from newspapers, a wreath from sweet wrappers or magazines, loads of decorations from CDs plus there are useful links to other wastes for more inspiration.


An old CD becomes Santa

There is a link to the Love a Food Hate Waste website too, which is a great site. There are lots of ideas for using up your Christmas leftovers, from Christmas pudding ice cream to Stilton, ham and Brussels sprout tart! I bet that is nicer than it sounds 😊.

You don’t need to live in Essex to find some inspiration for reducing your waste this Christmas. Check it out!

Make do and mend

I have been enjoying a blog called recently. Jen Gale has an interesting perspective on using less and wasting less which I agree with. She has had a lot of attention from the media of late too, with a piece in the dreaded Daily Mail about avoiding the rampant consumerism of Christmas and making it more simple. You can read it here. She and her family spent a whole year buying nothing. They went for a make do and mend approach, then carried on when the year was over. She is a very inspiring person with a refreshing view on life.

What are your tips for reducing, reusing and recycling this Christmas? Do you make do and mend? Are you trying to make it more simple and meaningful?

3 thoughts on “Make do and mend: Love Christmas, Hate Waste

  1. While I agree it’s good-common-sense to mend/make do when possible, and I’ve been recycling since the 1980s (long before it was the “in” thing), it’s possible to become overly militant. Some come off as being atop the fad band wagon… as my sons would say, “Uber Hip”. Very honestly, making wreaths from old magazines takes time. A lot of time. In America, nearly every state and county has recycling pick up by the garbage company. In California, our recycling receptacle is larger than the trash one. And I don’t think it’s bad or evil to buy yourself or loved ones new items of clothing, toys, etc. so long as you can financially afford to do so. It’s nice to get something new once in awhile. It keeps the economy going and keeps people employed. Everything in moderation, as grandmother used to say!

  2. I’m not a very crafty person, but we have cut down on decorations a bit this year in our new home. We have just a small tree with less ornaments to put on, and have concentrated on other collections we keep to decorate our home.

  3. Yes, that’s why I appreciate the importance of recycling factories and that we (in the U.S.) can place all of the food packaging into a recycle bin and have it picked up from the curb on trash day. 🙂 Nonperishable food that comes in boxes has the box and (usually) a plastic liner. All dairy is in packaging. All meats in the grocery store are wrapped in plastic in a foam dish or in plastic shrink wrap. Our shampoo, laundry detergent, dish soap, cat litter, etc. is in plastic. So recycling facilities help with that waste while providing jobs. Anyway, it IS good to be aware. We’ve scaled back on gifts for the past several Christmas seasons because our sons are adults now. We don’t need much. 🙂 But there will be a few packages of new, nice treats under the tree. Some practical, and some just for fun! Due to busy schedules, the only decoration this year is a small, artificial Christmas tree on a table top. Our special Christmas activity will be a nice dinner together at Big Sur’s spectacular coast.

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