I love the holiday season because I get to make wonderful memories, eat delicious food and give gifts to my loved ones. However, I am also aware of the environmental impact of the holidays and all of the unnecessary waste that comes with it. This year, I will focus on buying less stuff and giving more meaningful gifts. I will embrace Environment Georgia’s Buy Less, Give More’ Gift Guide. Buying less and giving more helps us transform the way we give by prioritizing services, experiences and creativity instead of goods that are mass produced only to be discarded a year later. It prioritizes building memories through giving thoughtful gifts that are better for the environment and the people receiving them. This approach to gift giving helps one save money and cut back on waste. Buying less and giving more will make your gifts as special and unique as the person you are giving them to.
The Buy Less,Give more guide offers 10 distinct categories for nontraditional gift giving and suggests an array of ideas in each category. Choosing an idea to give will depend on your time, resources and the person you will be gifting to, but there are a lot of ideas to choose from and you are sure to find or brainstorm something for everyone.
Here are a few categories I’ve taken inspiration from and will be embracing this holiday season:
Used items still have value even after we don’t want or use them anymore. Give something to a new owner by giving a pre-loved gift. Personally, I am very glad I read through the pre-loved gift blog as I would have never heard of Lost n’ Found, a thrift store in Georgia that collects money to help homeless youth in Atlanta. Additionally, the guide shared a variety of thrift stores, community groups and pre-loved gift ideas for all your loved ones. Upon discussing how we would adopt the buy less, give more guide, Environment Georgia’s State Director, Jennette Gayer, came up with the idea of gifting me her son’s pre-loved train station that I could give to my nephew and niece. By giving a pre-loved toy set to my nephews, I will avoid contributing to the plastic production and waste that comes from billions of toys purchased during the holidays. Pre-loved gifts truly help save money and reduce waste for a cleaner and healthier environment.
Instead of buying my mother a new watch, I’ll be surprising her with a new battery for an old watch my dad gifted her about 10 years ago. The watch is in great condition and holds sentimental value, making it a perfect gift worth repairing. Read more ideas about what kind of items you can repair, where and how you can give a repaired gift here.
What better way to save money on gifts than to share them? You can purchase a variety of shared services, goods and more. I purchased a new Apple laptop in September, but only recently found out through my colleagues that with my new purchase I get access to an AppleTV account. In the spirit of buying less and giving more, I will be giving the gift of an entertainment streaming service for my family and friends. Entertainment isn’t the only thing you can share, learn about more ideas here.
Have you heard the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Let’s put this saying into practice by giving something a new life. By upcycling you take something that would typically be discarded and you make something new out of it. Yes, it sounds a little intimidating if you feel you aren’t as creative. I know I felt that way;however, I couldn’t help but get inspired by all of the amazing upcycling gift ideas I learned about. From a paper mache cardboard vase to a t-shirt rug, the gift guide will inspire you to get creative and offers some wonderful DIY project social media accounts you can follow for more inspiration. Read more about other materials and items you can use to give an upcycled gift, here.
Take your creativity to the next level by giving an art piece. What a beautiful feeling it is to receive something someone makes distinctly for you. Art comes in many forms and is sure to make a unique and memorable gift. Buying art materials doesn’t have to be expensive either. Find paint brushes, paint, unfinished photo frames, canvases, boxes and more at your nearby Dollar Tree. You can also paint over an old painting from a thrift store. Not what you’re looking for? Read more ideas on giving art here.
If you are anything like me, you probably waited until the last minute to purchase all your holiday gifts. Instead of spending hours in line at the mall, improve your gift giving experience with great gift ideas that you’ll actually enjoy preparing. Save your google search for another day because Environment Georgia and our sister organization Enviornment America did the research for you! Read about other types of gift ideas and embrace the Buy Less,Give More Gift Guide. Before going off to give your gifts, I recommend bookmarking the guide to use as inspiration for gift giving all year round.
Clean Water Associate, Environment Georgia
Jennifer works to protect clean water with Environment Georgia. Jennifer lives in Georgia, where she loves reading, volunteering in her community, and spending time with her family at the park.