Now that I'm becoming more mindful of waste I'm more aware of how wasteful gift giving can be. I'm sure you, like many of us, have been given gifts that never get used. It seems such a waste!
It can often be a struggle to find the right gifts for people. A lot of our friends are trying to declutter and reduce the amount of 'stuff' they have and I really don't want to add more impractical, wasteful things to their lives. And parents usually have everything they want. Now when buying gifts I think to myself "Will this add to the world's waste problem? Will this be useful or loved?" I will often ask if there is anything they want or need, at least then I know it won't be wasted. Here's some good tips I've come across:
- give an experience rather than an item, I love this idea. Day trips with grandparents are always nice and shouting a friend out for a meal makes their day special. There's nothing like spending time with the ones you love.
- buy consumable items such as speciality foods & beverages, if you know they will use them of course. Buying local direct from the producer is always good. I recommend Peplers gourmet foods, Donovans Chocolates, and Sweetree local honey in glass jars (of course!), Good George beer or cider, just to name a very few. Head to your local market for speciality local treats.
- visit your local craft market for handmade soaps, arts and crafts. Or check out The Mandarin Tree art & concept store in Gordonton, they only sell local art.
- give sustainable gifts like special reusable shopping bags, beauty bars, reusable coffee cups, honeywrap resuable beeswax food wraps, etc
- make something from the heart, there's lots of ideas on the internet.
- dedicate a donation to a cause close to the heart of the person you are giving to.
I cringe at the amount of wrapping paper that is used once and then thrown out, especially at kids parties and Christmas. I've recently come across a much better option and everyone that has received a gift wrapped this way has loved it! Every time I go past a second hand shop I buy some scarfs and use them for wrapping gifts. It's a Japanese form of gift wrapping - furoshiki. You can just search on Tube You for furoshiki and the item you are wrapping and get some great ideas. There is no paper and no sellotape used and the greatest thing is the recipient can reuse it for a gift that they give! I love it! Here are just a few of the gifts I've given wrapped in scarfs and my basket of scarfs all ready to go. By the way you can use any material and ribbons you like. The world is your oyster!