The festive season brings with it a flurry of expenses–entertaining friends, sprucing up the house, eating out, buying presents, travel and a lot more depending on what your custom and culture dictate. The festive season is also, unfortunately, a season of waste.
Thanks to the irresistible sales, discounts and offers that are pushed by practically every retailer in the world we end up shopping in excess of what we really need. You may need just one pair of socks but if you get three for the price of two, turning it down would just be plain foolish right?
The other reason why we see such an uptick in attractive deals for the consumer is to make it cost effective to shop for friends and family members. Exchanging presents is the much looked forward to affair no matter which high holiday in the world you consider. Presents and greeting cards flow between families, friends, co-workers, business associates, clients, customers, students and teachers, employers and employees covering the entire spectrum of personal and professional relationships.
Eco-friendly, zero-waste gifting
The concept of going zero waste isn’t just about buying a useful gift for someone, it’s about using the festive season or a special occasion to do something meaningful for someone else that is going to have a profound impact on their lives and maybe the lives of others as well.
Here are a few ideas to kickstart a habit of zero-waste, eco-friendly, meaningful gifts and greetings this holiday season:
G I F T AN E X P E R I E N C E
Gift card for a blow-out? A pottery class, an art workshop with fruit, wine and cheese? Tickets to a concert or first show bookings for a movie that really want to watch! The list for experiential gifting is endless. You need only look up the internet for events happening around you. To make things more exciting, make it a double date with them and show them just how much they mean to you.
G R E E T W I T H T R E E S
Planting trees in honour of someone is a unique and meaningful gesture. But we may not have the time, space or expertise to go plant trees ourselves. Online platforms like Grow-Trees.com let you plant trees online and dedicate those trees via eTreeCertificates and eTreeCards. The certificate or card is delivered via email and can be customised by adding the recipient’s name, the occasion and a message. You can send family and friends world over eGreetings by planting trees for them!
S P E N D T I M E W I T H T H E M
Spending time with a loved one, especially parents, grandparents or an old relative is the most special thing you can do for them. Busy lives make for great excuses to opt out of spending quality time with your closest people. So plan a date with your partner/parent/sibling to give them your undivided attention over a meal or a cup of coffee. Maybe even put your phone away for the evening. Sky’s the limit 🙂
G I F T A P E T
This one is bit tricky, but anyone you know who wants a pet and hasn’t got one yet is literally just waiting for someone to give them one! Adopting a dog/cat/hamster or bird for anyone entails a considerable expense for giftee, so be sure to do some R&D on the feasibility of such a present. It also requires a commitment to the wellbeing, safety and nourishment of such an animal so again, be sure to check if a furry friend is a welcome addition to the life of your loved one or friend. On the flip side, this animal could change someone’s life, so definitely consider it. Also, adopt, don’t shop.
W R I T E T H E M A L E T T E R
Gone are the days of long letters on rich parchment paper spritzed with the scent of your favourite floral. Imagine the thrill of opening a sealed envelope, unfolding a crisp leaf of paper and having the words of a loved one pour out at you at just how much you mean to them. It is the greatest joy to write appreciation letters and receive them! You could write them a really nice email too, but in the spirit of the gifting season, some personalised stationery and handwritten words will go a long way. You can also print out some photos of your loved one as keepsakes. Make this eco-friendly by using recycled handmade paper and using a gold ol’ fountain pen that has a high reuse value.
H A N D M A D E P R E S E N T S
Handmade gifts can often become self-improvement projects for the gifter. Making scented candles, some pottery, painting, writing a song, knitting an item of clothing are all beautiful gifting ideas because you put so much of thought and care when crafting such gifts. This also allows you to put to practice latent hobbies and interests that you otherwise don’t have the time or energy to invest in. Working on gifting idea prove to be very cathartic making it all the more meaningful for the recipient.