Green group lists gifts to be avoided
A green group has urged shoppers not to buy mugs, picture frames or key rings as Christmas gifts because most of them end up gathering dust.
More than a quarter of the 568 respondents who took part in a poll by Green Sense last month said they disliked at least half the presents they received last Christmas.
The most undesirable gifts included mugs, picture frames, ornaments, dolls, key rings and personal accessories like earrings and bracelets.
Most were put away never to be touched again, while a small number of people threw them away.
Gabrielle Ho Ka-po, Green Sense project manager, said people should consider selling such items or donating them to charities.
'It is such a waste that these gifts have to be disposed of after one day without being used. Donating them to charities can effectively increase the chance of them being utilised.'
Ms Ho said that with seven in every 10 people hoping for practical gifts, people should not buy presents such as accessories and ornaments, which depend on personal taste.
Consumers are also advised to use less packaging or use recycled paper to wrap gifts.
Some 93 per cent of those polled said they would not mind receiving gifts wrapped in recyclable paper such as newspapers and magazines, while 90 per cent said they don't mind or favour receiving gifts that had no wrapping at all.
However, 80 per cent said at least half of their presents came gift-wrapped or in paper bags, while 68 per cent said they have not received a gift without wrapping.
In response to calls for a greener Christmas, more than 60,000 teachers and pupils from more than 100 kindergartens and primary and secondary schools have signed up for the 'Green Christmas School' campaign, agreeing not to wrap gifts this Christmas, reuse old decorations and bring their own food and cutlery for school parties.
Last year the campaign helped to save 340,000 disposable knives and forks and nearly 8,000 boxes of takeaway catering, the group claimed, with 200 schools taking part.
Ms Ho said the group's next aim was to launch similar campaigns among corporations and food caterers, though they had received a chilly response from some.
'We are trying to get some big food chains to start using greener tactics in preparing party food catering. Some turned a cold face but some are being pretty positive.'
The number of disposable items of cutlery dumped at Christmas in 2005: 2m
SOURCE: GREEN SENSE