How to Make Holiday Gift-Giving Eco-friendly — and More Meaningful


There’s at all times one on the record — the one who has every thing and is notoriously laborious to please. That individual has seemingly additionally acquired some horrible gimmicky present, simply in order that they’ve one thing to unwrap.

It’s time to place an finish to it. Don’t purchase the novelty child Yoda. Don’t purchase that recreation of bathroom golf. Don’t purchase the wine flask bra. Simply. Don’t.

Vacation purchasing has develop into an extension of the consumption economic system. Spending is on the rise and family debt burden continues to rise in Canada, the United States, Australia, China and elsewhere.

Vacation advertising and marketing solely intensifies the method of shoppers buying issues after which disposing of them as shortly as potential. Of all of the supplies flowing via the patron economic system, only 1% remain in use six months after purchase.

After all, this makes manner for the chance to purchase extra stuff. Consumerism reaches a frenzied peak as the vacations method, spurred on by Black Friday, Cyber Monday and different final probability purchasing offers that evoke a way of urgency and shortage earlier than Christmas.

In 2019, U.S. buyers spent US$729 billion on holiday shopping. In Canada, we spend more on holiday festivities and gifts than we do on rent, which added as much as $19 billion final 12 months.

How a lot stuff?

Landfills see a spike in supplies across the holidays, from wrapping paper to ribbon and undesirable presents:

How to Make Holiday Gift-Giving Eco-friendly — and More Meaningful
Wrap presents in cloth to keep away from sending paper, ribbon and tape to the landfill. Credit score: Shutterstock.

So, what can an environmentally acutely aware gift-giver do to lower the quantity of waste related to a well-meaning present? The excellent news is, there are a selection of hacks round this giving conundrum and, it seems, your socially accountable present doesn’t must fall flat. It could actually even result in extra optimistic feelings on the a part of the recipient than conventional presents.

Skip the wrapping

Maybe the best option to scale back the quantity of vacation supplies going to landfill is to seek out methods to scale back wrapping. If each Canadian wrapped simply three presents in upcycled supplies fairly than wrapping paper, enough paper would be saved to cover the surface of 45,000 hockey rinks.

For starters, you may not wrap the present in any respect or you possibly can use a reusable bag or a shawl to wrap the present. For those who had wrapping regret final 12 months and saved the present luggage, wrapping and bows — simply use them once more.

Associated Submit: 3 Eco-Conscious Ways To Wrap Gifts This Christmas

Wrap presents in an previous map or a web page from {a magazine} or calendar. Bundle the present in a mason jar, a flower pot or an ornamental field that may be reused. Minimize pictures from previous Christmas playing cards to make use of as present tags.


Get artful

Canada leads the world when in involves per capita waste and solely nine per cent of our plastic actually ends up being recycled. Take into consideration making crafts out of upcycled supplies fairly than tossing them. Making presents can result in significant keepsakes that include a lighter ecological footprint.

Bake cookies, write a poem, make some candles or assemble a reminiscence e-book with photographs to cherish. Make presents out of recycled and repurposed supplies. My daughters are making necklaces out of driftwood and sea glass, and plant holders from repurposed supplies.

Take into consideration tailoring the present for the person. You may make coasters out of previous information for the music fanatic, pure tub salts for the spa-lover or gingerbread for the buddy with a candy tooth.

Associated Submit: 20 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas for Thoughtful Gift Givers

If you’re quick on time, or craftiness doesn’t come naturally, construct a personalised coupon e-book with provides to babysit or stroll the canine, or take a buddy to lunch.

Experiences, not issues

An often-overlooked option to lower the ecological affect of vacation giving is to think about giving an expertise as an alternative of a tangible good. Experiences could also be extra sustainable than materials presents, and analysis exhibits they’ll lead to greater happiness. Giving experiences over materials items can foster stronger relationships.

Give a present card for a therapeutic massage or a day of home cleansing. Purchase tickets to an area hockey recreation, a live performance or a group play. Join a cooking, yoga or pottery class.

Tinggly, the world’s main platform for expertise presents, offsets carbon on all journeys booked on its platform. Picture: Jennifer Nini.

Donate to a trigger that is significant to your recipient. Canadians donated $8.9 billion in 2016, in line with Statistics Canada, with a median donation of $300.

You’ll be able to symbolically undertake a tiger, river otter or moose from the World Wildlife Fund, get a present card from a corporation like Kiva, which crowdfunds loans to assist individuals in growing nations begin their very own companies, or title a star via the official Star Registry or your native observatory.

No matter you select to do, do not forget that eco-friendly presents make memories without adding more bulk to the landfill.

This text is republished from The Conversation underneath a Inventive Commons license. Writer: Katherine White, Professor and Tutorial Director of the Dhillon Centre for Enterprise Ethics, University of British Columbia.

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Cowl picture credit score: cottonbro.

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