Sustainable Gift Giving

The holiday season is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the previous year, to enjoy the warmth and comfort of good food, and to show appreciation for family, friends and colleagues through the exchange of gifts.

The season is also a time when many households produce up to 25% more waste than throughout the rest of the year. This year, consider using your creativity and the tips below to make it a sustainable holiday gift-giving season.

Give the gift of experiences. Tickets to a performance, a spa day, a music class, tutoring, dog walking, museum memberships, etc. provide great memories and use minimal natural resources.

Give homemade edibles. Food made at home using local, organic ingredients is healthier, has less environmental impact, and is less likely to go to waste by the recipient.

Shop in a local thrift store. NYC has some of the best thrift and vintage stores anywhere and one can find many treasures from clothing to jewelry to home goods. Thrift shopping truly fulfills the goals of reduce, recycle, re-use.

Go electronic. Make this a cyber-holiday season by sending e-greetings and e-gift cards.

Give gifts to support a sustainable lifestyle. Consider giving re-usable mugs, attractive shopping bags, plants, and locally-made, fair trade products. Support local artists and family owned stores that make their goods more sustainably than national chains.

Wrap sustainably. Consider new ways to present your gifts and reduce paper waste. Re-usable containers can become traditions each year. Gifts can be adorned with items from nature such as holly leaves, sprigs of berries and pinecones. Gift bags can be re-used. Presents can be beautiful on their own wrapped only in a re-usable fabric ribbon.

Recycle. There are many ways to recycle holiday items. If you wrap gifts with paper, recycle it. Pass unneeded gifts on to others or to your local thrift shop. Retain gift boxes for re-use for other occasions.

Enjoy the season!

For more sustainable gift ideas, use the following link.

Posted on 12/07/2012 in | Permalink

Contact Info

The content of this site is managed by the Sustainability Web Publishing Team.  If you have comments or suggestions please contact us via email using the links below.  If you are interested in volunteering to support the team, please contact Kristen directly.

Kristen Adams, Department of Anesthesiology

Dorysel Mora, Department of Neurology