Monday, November 18, 2013

December 2013 Green Tips: Gift Giving

'Tis the season for green presents! Now, I don't want to seem like your typical drug store or supermarket, blasting "Frosty the Snowman" and selling ornaments right as the pumpkins roll out the door, but it's never too early to start thinking about making this season's gift-giving sustainable.

Tip Number One - Shop Local
Shopping local is a great way to make your gift giving more sustainable. When you buy a locally made gift you are supporting the local economy and avoiding the commercialism of the holidays that stores like Target and Walmart provide. If you are heading downtown to buy a friend or family member a gift try checking out a local candy shop, bookstore, or gallery for unique sustainable gifts.

Tip Number Two - Reusable Wrapping
Newspaper, old gift bags, a cardboard box you found in the garage; these are all excellent choices for wrapping up your gifts this year. Why not use up all those paper bags you got before you started remembering to bring your reusable shopping bags to the store? It's cheap, fun, and better for the environment. And who knows? Maybe the person you give the gift to will even reuse your wrapping for something else!

Tip Number Three - A Gift that Will Last
Now I'm not saying you need to buy everyone a reusable water bottle this year (even though that would be wonderful) but think before you buy! Ask yourself a few questions before you make a purchase:
  1. Is this something the person you are buying for will actually use and want?
  2. Is there a more sustainable version of this product? (Store bought cookies vs Homemade)
  3. How likely is it that this gift will end up in the trash before summer begins?
Tip Number Four - Create a Memory Instead
Honestly most "things" you can buy are not going to last forever. Why not create a memory with or for someone instead. Buy a spa day or a sea kayaking adventure! Buy a giftcard to a new restaurant you guys have been wanting to try. These things last forever in our hearts and make for an environmentally friendly gift.


Brian said...

Thank you for this wonderful perspective. Living in the small coastal community means that we have lots of small businesses offering lots of unique products and lots of stuff that supports sustainability and green living. Our town's economy depends on us supporting local business and it also cuts down on us driving 70 miles round trip to San Luis Obispo so less gas and hydrocarbons in the atmosphere.

Jack said...

Great green living gifts. Thanks for the ideas!