How To Go Green with Gift Giving

Help Push the Concept of Green

The going green movement is catching on around the world. Environmentally conscious people remind us that it's our responsibility to leave the world better than we found it. Gift giving is an area of our lives where we can really cut back on waste and be more conscious about the negative effects our gift giving has on the environment. Read the steps below to get started on going green with gift giving.

Step 1

Do your research online, but purchase locally. If you have an idea of what you would like to buy, look up products online and compare prices of items. When it comes to making the purchases, however, buy locally. Map out your route so that you use as little gas as possible and organize your shopping for a day that you plan to run other errands as well. By purchasing locally, you save the item from being shipped; meaning it's not traveling by plane and car from somewhere else in the country. Also, by shopping online you reduce the need for catalogs to be created and shipped to your home.

Step 2

Support local businesses that are environmentally conscious. Check companies' Web sites to see how they give back to the environment. Companies and products who are environmentally friendly typically advertise (on their site or on the product's tag) that they give 1% back to the planet. This 1% may mean that they spend 1% of their profits on making their own company greener, or they donate 1% of their profits to a green organization.

Step 3

Send gift cards via e-mail. If you're planning on purchasing gift cards, check out the company's Web site that you intend to purchase the card from. Many companies have the option of sending the gift card through e-mail. By taking advantage of this service, you've just saved the paper to create the card and the pollution created from getting it to the recipient. An added bonus: it's faster than the United States Postal Service!

Step 4

Pay attention to product packaging. For instance, if you're comparing toys that you'd like to purchase for the young gift recipient on your list, be conscious of the wrapping. If a toy is packaged in a cardboard box and has many small pieces individually wrapped in plastic, think about the waste you're creating when bringing this product home. Try to steer towards companies whose products are more efficiently packaged.  

Step 5

Don't be afraid to regift an item you don't have the use for. Just because you can't use it, doesn't mean it has to go in a landfill. Think about people in your life the gift can be appropriate for. Don't feel guilty about regifting; it's gaining in popularity and actually helps the environment!

Step 6

Be willing to reuse gift bags, gift wrapping and bows. If you don't have a supply of gift bags on hand, resist the urge to wrap your gift at all. Or, be creative and wrap it in a t-shirt, blanket or an old newspaper. Also, keep in mind it's not necessary to give a card with every gift. Just cutting out cards will make a big difference to the environment. If you like to give cards, use an e-card service or make a card from one you've received. Cut off the side of the fold that had the personal message and write your own personal message on the back of the card.

This article was written by Collin Walker. Visit his Web site to discover some great ideas for your pet loving friends and family including: dog bed, dog door and dog carrier from designer brands.

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