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Great Gifts – Zero Waste

December 7, 2009

With Christmas, Chanukah and New Years around the corner, there seems to be one thing occupying everyone’s mind:  Gift-Giving!  Giving and receiving gifts are fun.  While we are thrilled when we unwrap that box to unveil something we’ve always wanted, more often than not we will receive just another something that will end up in the dark corners of our already overcrowded closet. 

Maybe we can re-gift but that will just move them from our closet into someone else’s garage.  Think for a second:  if this is how we feel about the gifts we receive, are those people we are giving gifts to reacting any differently?  Not to our faces of course; but have you ever seen Auntie Maggie use that kitchen gadget you bought for her?  And whatever happened to the mug with your picture on it; or that expensive toy (aka: pile of toxic plastic) that you thought would be a big hit with your sister’s toddler?

Let’s do something different this year and give our loved ones gifts they will actually like and use!  Something that did not consume a gazillion of unnecessary resources to create and won’t end up in the landfill.  What a novell idea…  Are you up for the challenge?  Okay, I will make it easy for you and share with you some of my favorites.  Here it goes:

  • Something Personal:  Gift your time!  Print a gift card on recycled paper that is redeemable for something you can offer personally (i.e. car wash, computer help, bike tune-up, babysitting, you get the idea). 
  • Something Magical:  Give an experience!  This is similar to the first one but here you’ll let the experts do the job.  You can gift a day at the spa, tour & tasting of an organic winery or micro-brewery, museum admission… Now who would waste that?
  • Something Edible:   If you can bake you’re lucky.  Make something yummy, put it in a container salvaged from a prior purchase (jars and tin boxes especially work well), embellish and personalize if you must, and voila – you have a gift sure to be consumed.  Beware, they may ask for more!
  • Something Organic:  It’s hard to purchase a sweater or pants for another person.  I hardly get the sizing right when I shop for myself 🙂  But babies are easy right?  All you need to know is how many months old they will be at the time of gift-giving.  If they are closer to the upper end of their range, I would suggest to go with the next bigger size.  Babies grow really fast.  Why does it have to be organic?  Because conventional cotton is grown doused in pesticides and insecticides.  Who wants that on their baby?  Organic baby clothes are naturally soft and don’t irritate the skin or cause allergies. 

There you have it.  I have more ideas that I will cover in my next post.  In the mean time, feel free to share with me your eco-friendly gift-giving ideas.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tiredofcrap permalink
    December 17, 2009 2:43 am

    seriously this has to be one of the biggest wastes of money baby clothes are expensive to begin with now we have to have ORGANIC? People lived fine with pesticides all these years so will we…..

    • Maria permalink
      December 5, 2010 9:16 pm

      I agree with “tiredofcrap”. I bought most of my baby clothes at second hand stores or garage sales. They outgrow them so fast. My son outgrew so many shoes, some which he only wore a few times and a lot that he never even wore! Please don’t waste your money on “organic”.

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