When money is tight, what can you give? When you are trying to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle, how do you give eco-friendlier? The unusual answer to both those questions is to try out the lesser known ‘R’ – Re-gifting.
It may sound crazy or cheap, but there is a time and place for re-gifting. Like right now! No really, think about it. You probably have less money to spend this year, you have stuff you don’t know what to do with, and buying new stuff has a bunch of hidden environmental costs: the mass extraction of resources, the production, the packaging, the distribution, and the shipping of products is so resource intensive its killing our planet slowly.
If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you are a prime candidate for re-gifting:
1. You bought something in the last year that you had good intentions of using (fitness equipment, housewares, tools) but haven’t.
2. You received a gift that you would never use or a gift certificate to a store or restaurant you don’t frequent.
3. You purchased clothes or accessories that didn’t look ‘right’ when you got home and couldn’t return them.
4. Your kids are done playing with a toy or game that is still in really good condition.
5. You have an office holiday party to go to and there is a gift exchange.
Every December, the office of Earth Day Canada celebrates the season with a lunch and a re-gifting exchange. Instead of spending 20 dollars on a generic gift for a coworker, things get pretty creative (and a little absurd) at the re-gift exchange. We applaud the original, useful gifts and groan at the items people try to get rid of. Some of our most memorable gifts have been decorative birds, unopened booze, obscene books and a curtain rod.
If your warming up to the practice of re-gifting, why not start a new tradition among friends or coworkers this year?
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