Expressing your care and love for someone through a thoughtfully chosen gift is wonderful. It shows how much you understand the person and their life but it could also add extra stress on your already high-tension life. Can we approach this a bit differently?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, American household waste increases 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day – equating to 1 million tons each year. Much of the waste over Christmas has to do with the gifts – acquiring more stuff, and the packaging and wrapping that goes with it.
In this holiday season, let's look at what we are giving and where they come from and where they will go.
It is pretty simple. It just takes more of your consideration. If you give a nice candle to a friend, try buying the cancel that does not only look beautiful and smell great but also made locally or made from a company with more ethical and sustainable practices. The same approach can be used for almost all types of products that you purchase.
You can also make something and give. Whether it is a home-baked cake or hand-drawn and written card, it gives a wonderful sense of care. Use papers from old magazines or newspapers to wrap it up.
Or give something that you already have. If you know the recipient is comfortable using a secondhand product, this could save money and resources. A dress that you bought on a whim but hardly worn. A scarf that doesn't go with your wardrobe. We all have stuff that we do not use so why not give? (even swap?)
Giving an experience instead of a physical product is also a great idea. Like a concert ticket or gym membership. Go take the time together. Catch with each other's life. Share the lessons and hopes for life. We all have same 24 hours and everyone is busy. Finding and spending quality time can mean much more than a pretty wrapped gift box.
And there are many more ways to make gift-giving more meaning and sustainable. Explore and enjoy. Happy holidays to you.