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Eco Gift Giving for Modern Times

eco wrapped giftRacking your brain trying to figure out what to give your loved ones for the holidays this year? For those hard-to-buy-for relatives and friends, every year one is faced with taking a gamble when buying items that you think others might like. It seems more and more difficult to buy gifts because increasingly people buy from their  “wish lists” all year, leaving nothing on the list for the holidays.

Why not change things up and take a different approach this year? Go eco and give non-material gifts that won’t end up in landfills, re-gifted, or in thrift stores. (By the way, gifts you have received in the past that you don’t want can be utilized in future white elephant gift exchanges, which is also eco-friendly).

Some ideas for experience-based gifts include an activity that you know the receiver would enjoy. Don’t know the person well? Scour their facebook profile and timeline for comments and interests and pages they “liked” to get an idea of their favorite activities.

Here is a short list of eco friendly ideas for the “hard to buy for” person on your list, with more ideas in the graphic at right.

  1. Spa day
  2. Movie or theatre tickets
  3. Sports activity lessons or admission fees paid: roller skating, ballroom dancing, archery, golf
  4. Wine tour
  5. Beer flight at the local pub brewery
  6. Theme park tickets
  7. Gift basket with consumables (using a basket or container that you have on hand or from a thrift store)
  8. Whale watching, harbor cruise, paddle boarding, kayaking
  9. Weekend getaway with hotel stay
  10. Paint night
  11. Online educational courses, many of which work on a subscription basis. This gift works well for those who are homebound or don’t like to venture out much.

One last idea is to give a gift that will make a lasting difference, as opposed to something that will be discarded to a landfill or thrift shop.   Giving money to a charity in the name of your gift recipient is a thoughtful way to give gifts during the holiday season. There are charities where you can donate meals or a farm animal to needy families in other countries

Locally, you can give the gift of meals to a low income homebound senior. For example, $25 pays for 5 meals delivered to a senior citizen. Contact senior concerns at this link for more information.

If you feel compelled to buy a tangible gift for that special person on your list, we have a few ideas. How about a sustainable gift that will help the planet: stainless steel straws, re-useable cups and mugs, and LED flashlights?

Another idea is to recover items from thrift, resale or consignment stores. Many of those locations donate proceeds from the store to help the underserved or seniors in our community.  Buying thrift translates to making a statement to others that you care about the environment, and the trend is catching on! This recent Bloomberg article on thrift store shopping states that more than half of Americans are open to getting pre-owned gifts this season.

Click here for a list of our local thrift and resale stores!

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