Sustainable holiday gift giving

How do we approach this holiday season with sustainable gift giving season?
Sustainability Gal / Insights / Sustainable holiday gift giving

In addition to the smart phones, board games and plastic toys on the holiday buying list, there’s also an elephant lurking in the room this Holiday season during gift exchanging: the (sustainable) holiday gifts. Giving isn’t about one moment of instant gratification. Gift giving can be something that can last lifetime. And in some cases somethings that can last lifetimes.

It’s a tricky thing to talk about because not everyone thinks sustainable when coming up with holiday gifting ideas. Since the past decade, there has been a drastic increase in the consumer’s desire for a sustainable living. But really how to convert that desire into actions? Perhaps research on how really sustainable or short lived is the holiday list?  Do you ask the gift recipients to sign a contract to discard the items sustainably once no more in useable condition. Or perhaps buy a close match gift that is a more sustainable option? 

According to Bloomberg polls most Americans (nearly 60 percent) say they look for more sustainable options in their day to day lives. But are we really ready to look into the hard and dark truth of how some of the items on our Holiday wish list are made. And what is the true footprint or a true cost of consumption. How much CO2 was released in the atmosphere – and really how much is this product going to be used for all of us to sacrifice breathing clean air.   

Perhaps the best way to solve this is by making it a shared problem to be solved. By educating. Start by calling your gift recipient and by soliciting their ideas on how to come up with a sustainable holiday list. Let’s ask: “What’s your advice on how we can make sure we are being responsible consumers?” Then come up with some ideas. Perhaps 1) look into how the items are made that are on your holiday list 2) how long do we plan to use  3) are there other sustainable options? Simple questions but they can be quite insightful. And it can set the corse to our journey as a consumers in very important decision making.

Lastly, there will be a significant impact on packaging converters. Meaning, using more sustainable wrapping methods. For example- try wrapping the gifts with a scarf that is also reusable after the gift is unwrapped. The key to spreading the awareness is to be informed on how much of earth’s resources are needed to manufacture the items. 

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