Hello there all,
it is that time of year where you are frenzy for gift ideas, and it can be stressful to buy a present for someone. However, I have some tips that might make it a little easier, and it will help you be a little bit more "green" at the same time. Double Bonus! Wait, we have a triple bonus! These items are usually the best on the wallet.
When contemplating a "green" present, there are 8 main categories.
2.) Edible goods
5.) Donation in kind
6.) Getting them what they asked for
7.) Purchasing from local companies
8.) Made from sustainable materials
Let's get into this further:
1.) Experiences- These are the gifts that don't require you to buy a material object (which reduces the material waste and it eliminates any energy waste to create/transport that object). You are not gifting a physical item, and therefore, you are decreasing the amounts of goods created. Experience gifts are things like: restaurant gift card, museum admission, etc. This is often times the gift that keeps on giving past the holidays, and it gifts one of the most precious things: time with another person. This is also the perfect present for the person that already has everything.
2.) Edible goods-The elimination of physical products is still evident in this gift. However, it is a present that the receiver doesn't have to travel to and therefore they don't need to use fuel/ By gifting some noms to someone, you are giving them a gift that doesn't have any waste packaging, isn't another physical object to hold onto, and it is something that can be so diverse depending on the receiver. If you know that the person is a busy lady, it might be wonderful to give her one of those meals in a jar that have been circulating the interwebs like here (freeing up some of their time in the future), or you can make that delicious batch of fudge for the sweet tooth in your family.
3.) Reused- You have heard me say time and time again about my love for thrift store shopping. Although, I realize that this is not everybody's cup of tea, you can still buy items that are brand new at thrift stores that would have been thrown away from major department stores. For example, Target is constantly donating things to Goodwill that are brand new. These items were just going to be thrown away, but you saved them from the trash. Some have issues with used clothes and all that but items like picture frames have not been harmed by being hung on another person's wall, and there are so many other items in that category. These items have not been destroyed by being used once or twice from another family.
4.) Repurpose- Some items that you find at the thrift store can be given immediate new life, and if you are on the Pinterest scene, you can see how someone can make something like 2 clothespins into a car. Okay, maybe not quite that extreme, but there are loads of ideas of things to make with old/unwanted items. One thing that I do for presents is I rescue jewelry/beads from being thrown away and reuse them to make prettier pieces of jewelry. It is something so simple, but it just needs a new eye for a new use.
5.) Donation in kind- For the person that has everything, it is wonderful to give a donation to a cause the receiver cares about/is involved in. It is a personal present where you need to pay attention to what they care about, and it eliminates any excess presents/junk.
6.) Getting them what they asked for- I am guilty of not wanting to give someone the present that they asked for because I have felt like it is impersonal to just ask someone what they want. However, if you think about it, you are giving them exactly what they want instead of giving them a piece of junk that they are unhappy with, and they will still probably buy the item. They'll be stuck at home with 2 more things instead of just the original idea.
7.) Purchasing from local companies- Yes, this is great for the local economy AND for the environment. By keeping it local, you are minimizing fuel costs for everyone involved, and you are more likely to address local items made from local products instead of items made in a foreign country with foreign goods.
8.) By purchasing/making items made from sustainable materials, you are investing in another individual not using a material that is good for the environment. For example, when you buy wood toys, these can eventually biodegrade instead of toys that are made from plastic.