The best gifts we can give others are thoughtful, meaningful or useful. We can search stores and stand in long lines for deals but most of those gifts end up not used, given away, or even trashed.
We can do some simple out side of the box thinking to make gift giving easy, all while creating less waste for everyone. If we stick with giving less junk and give more memories and experiences, giving our time or at least buy ethically we can make an environmental impact for any gift giving holiday.
◦ Tickets to events: These are great for the sport enthusiast, music lovers, or comedy show fans.
◦ Season passes: A gift that literally last all year! Good for people who love state parks, zoos, museums, or an any amusement park!
◦ Personal hobbies: Enroll someone in a class that helps build their hobby or passion – baking, photography, sports, music, art, etc. It doesn’t matter if they are beginners or advanced you can never stop learning and growing in your passions.
◦ Learning: Books, puzzles, telescopes, educational games. I always love getting books as presents, especially if it’s a hand me down recommendation.
◦ Experience: Ice skating, museums, camping, trips to somewhere new (close to home or far.) A weekend road trip is always a good idea in my opinion!
◦ Games: Makes for more family time! Board games are fantastic gifts – they can be educational and it gets the family together. I love weekends beating the kids in giant Jenga.
◦ Gift cards for things to do together: Movie theater, bowling, favorite restaurants, laser tag, etc. Bonus points if you can get electronic gift cards instead of the plastic cards.
◦ Used toys: Our local kids consignment shop has bins and bins of gently used toys, and some new in the box. Kids don’t care or even notice if their baby doll or remote control car is used or brand new, it’s new to them!
◦ Homemade: if you have a crafty side make something, bake something or paint something! Its special, unique and you spent time and energy into that gift!
- Shop local and shop ethical: If you really want to buy a new physical item, you can buy most gifts from a local small business and if not buy from a sustainable company who promotes their ethical practices. Things like candles, soaps, health and beauty items or artwork are all great ways to shop local and ethically.
◦ Subscriptions: So many businesses have monthly subscriptions. Magazines, stem science boxes, monthly book club.
- Donations: Some people are passionate about certain movements or studies. A donation to something in their honor is a thoughtful gift that a lot of minimalist will appreciate.
◦ Pets: I left this for last because it’s touchy for me. I love when people adopt pets and rescue from shelters, I don’t like when they are a month in and decide their 5 year old can’t manage a dog so they give it away. It really breaks my heart. So if you’re wanting to buy a family pet, great! Don’t have high hopes that your kid, of any age, is going to be able to solely take care of the new family member. It’ll be you, reminding the kids every single day or doing it yourself. So please, please, don’t get an animal if you’re not able to commit to them. If you are, be sure to adopt a rescue!
Whatever the gift giving event may be, don’t waste your time, energy or money on something that ends up unused or even trashed. Think creatively, don’t run to the big chain stores and buy what looks cute or what’s on sale. There are tons of other ideas I’m sure you can think of for that unique individual you’re shopping for. Make it meaningful and ethical so you both enjoy the exchange.