Be it the holidays or a birthday or an anniversary or any celebration, a gift is always around the corner. And we all love gifts because it’s a sign that we’re loved and remembered. But getting someone a gift might not be as romantic as it sounds. You hunt from store to store for the perfect gift, never really being satisfied with one and wondering how well it will be received. In fact, how many gifts have we received ourselves, that have no place in the house or you just don’t use? That’s where the concept of sustainable gift-giving comes in.
What do I give?
The best present is your presence. Be with your loved ones. Go with them for a bonding experience. Go on vacation with family, go on a trip with friends. Take them to a movie, an adventure or a tour. Go see a game with them. Or, bring that experience home. Have a movie night. Have a cooking day with them. Check out new recipes and cook homemade food. Watch a game on TV or play their favorite game with them.
But if you know just what they need, just what they’ve been anticipating to get their hands on for so long, and you’ve been wanting to give it to them and now you just got the chance, then go on and gift it to them. This way, you fill in a missing spot in your loved ones, and they’ll be nothing but grateful for your present. And above all, you can rest assured that your present will not be sitting idle in a corner. It’ll be worthwhile.
What if I don’t know the receiver well enough?
What if you don’t know the person to whom you’re gifting well enough, much less what they want as a gift? Try to find out about what the other person’s preferences are, if that’s an option. If not, give the best version of the gift you would want someone to have, with all your reasoning and considerations. Consider the budget. You don’t have to grab the most expensive gift out there just because you don’t know this person and yet you want to make a good impression.
Think about what makes you happy. Truly, genuinely happy. Go along that thought and decide your gift. This is the one chance you get to give something that you really want to, irrespective of the preference of the one you’re gifting it to. Think of the stuff you’d want to give anyone, that would reflect you, or your connection and relationship with them. Clearly, right now you don’t have one, but with this gift, you’ll be building one with them. Give them the gift that will define how you want them to remember you or the message you want to convey.
How do I give it?
Ever noticed the extra unused space in gift boxes? All filled up with paper and bubble wrap and whatnot? Except to keep the contents from smashing upon each other, what purpose does all that unused space serve? Nothing. Just waste. Waste of cardboard, waste of machine energy and human labor, waste of packing space, increased shipping and transportation costs, decreased transportation efficiency, and eventually, filling up garbage piles and landfill space. And somehow, you would’ve paid for the waste of resources and costs associated with the purchase. Does a bigger box make the receiver happier? Does it make you on the giving end happier? If you really think about it, no it doesn’t.
So, press your favorite gift store on the sustainable quality of their wrapping and packaging. In fact, press all stores that you visit on the sustainable quality of their packing. Press them to change. They’d love to change for the better for their favorite customers.
Compile your own gift box. Nothing goes beyond a self-crafted curated gift box with the most personalized stuff. Plus, you’ll learn something new: how to make a gift box on your own. How thrilling is it to gather a new life skill! One ticked. You can find step by step tutorials on gift box making on YouTube and Pinterest. Just check out some for a start, to get you in the crafty mood.
Or maybe you don’t need a box at all. You can get some nice wrapping paper and wrap it yourself. Or better yet, make your own wrapping paper. Or your own recycled wrapping paper. We all love a nicely wrapped gift, no doubt. Check out the links for tutorials on making your own paper and some nice wrapping ideas. Imagine the whole experience you’ll be getting form gifting and the skills you’ll be collecting. There’s little chance of forgetting this gifting experience in your lifetime.
Did you just notice that every little aspect of your gift is carefully chosen and everything is done with ultimate care and thought? What more can one expect from a gift?
Read more : How to Save the Planet with Less Consumption
Lavanya Witharana, co-founder of Discovering Minimalism is currently following her postgraduate studies in environmental science as she desires to share her unconditional love for the environment with like-minded enthusiasts from all around the world.