The season for giving and receiving, once the presents are opened, results in a big pile of packaging and wrapping paper.

Then despite the best of intentions the presents themselves may be unwanted and then some toys even when wanted are only played with once then forgotten.

Come February they wind up in landfill, a hedge in a field in Callow End or worse, floating in the Atlantic Ocean.

The BBC’s Blue Planet II shows that marine wildlife has a serious issue with plastic rubbish in the sea, but it doesn’t have to be this way..

One alternative is to buy a loved one a memorable experience, another is to make something yourself, releasing the creative inner you.

A present isn’t only about how much it is, but that you thought about who was getting it and what they like, and that sometimes means taking some time. Making something out of recycled or biodegradable material would be even more sustainable.

The Worcester Resource Exchange is a great source of recycled craft materials and can be found in Blackpole East, Unit F9 (see

Some busy people don’t need any more things. They are really hard to find presents for. Instead you can give them time.

You could give them vouchers for specific jobs which free them up so they can have an evening out.

Given that we all will probably still have to actually buy some presents – source your present from a small business in Worcester. Then the money stays here in the local economy, to individual people not multinational companies. That way more people will have a better Christmas.