N eed a present, but not sure what to buy? Finding the perfect gift for a birthday, special occasion, or holiday can be a challenge no matter the occasion or your relationship. Answer a few simple questions about the recipient to determine what type of present best suits his or her personality.
- Which activity would they choose?
- Which animal would this person like best as a pet?
- How close is your relationship to this person?
- What is this person’s entertainment genre?
- What is this person’s favorite drink?
- What is your budget for this present?
- Which type of restaurant does this person prefer?
- How do you plan to deliver the gift?
Shopping as an environmentally aware gift giver
When shopping as an environmentally-aware gift giver, you may find your task is suddenly getting a bit more difficult. If you put yourselves in the shoes of the person you are shopping for, you could probably find something they would love, use, and not object to.
If you want to make a less eco-conscious loved one happy, but not burden the planet, there are definitely ways of finding a middle ground.
1. A twist on a conventional gift
When it comes to gift giving, sometimes you have to reach a compromise. They have to accept what you can offer, or you have to give something you don’t wholly approve of. When it comes to matters of faith or fashion, these compromises may be hard, but possible.
But you do not always need to make this compromise when it comes to being eco-friendly. Because there are eco-friendly versions of almost everything out there when you look around for them. You can look at our first list for some great ideas that might make an amazing gift for someone who is not as much of an environmentalist as yourself.
A gym enthusiast will love a full annual subscription, a gardener will have great fun with a selection of new seedlings, a new mother will appreciate some safe and eco-friendly baby toiletries, and an IT student may be interested in having one of their modules paid off. You’re still giving them what they want, just without compromising value.
2. Something they really need
If you can’t find something that has an eco-friendly alternative, or where the alternative may not be appreciated by them, you might need to compromise a little bit and get them something which isn’t completely aligned with your values.
But a great way of doing this and making sure it is worthwhile is to get them something they really need. You may not approve of using your own vehicle, but if that is the only realistic option for them, then covering some new tires on their bike or an MOT on their car could be appreciated. Their degree may be in something you consider wasteful or exploitative, but if they need to get a degree and make a living, then it would be considerate to put some money towards it. This way at least you know your gift will be used, reducing waste.
3. Something they will get some mileage out of
Another compromise that is not too hard to handle is to get them something they will use again, and again, and again. It is one thing to say they should not drink so much take-out coffee, but if this is something they intend to continue doing, then getting them a reusable travel mug could help save the planet, and even save them money at some shops.
Likewise, you may feel their love of fashion is a bit too wasteful, but then you could get them some biodegradable clothes produced ethically and sustainably, or an item of clothing with unlimited repairs, such as certain shoe brands offer. Or perhaps you could get them some items to extend the life of their household gadgets and goods, such as dryer balls which soften clothes by pummeling them, or fridge gadgets that keep food fresher for longer.
4. Something digital
It’s not just environmentally aware gift recipients who will love digital things. The digital world is very much a part of our everyday lives, and our friends and family from all walks of life probably consume digital media, on some level, every single day. So if you want to give a gift with virtually no carbon footprint and literally no landfill potential, give a digital gift. Some great ideas for everyone include:
- An album, or a collection of albums, by their favorite artist
- A digital copy of one or more movies
- A digital copy of one or more games
- A streaming service for music or movies
- Add-ons or upgrades for games or gaming systems
- A mobile phone contract
- Mobile phone extras
- A subscription to an online service
- An app-store voucher
5. Food and drinks
Everybody loves food and drinks, and everyone has their favorites. If you are not too convinced about your options this holiday season, a food or drinks gift is sometimes a great way of getting around giving gifts you ethically do not agree with. You could get your loves ones a luxurious, absolutely ethical, gourmet food item.
Or you could get them a gift card for their favorite restaurant. Or you could make them something yourself. And you could give them an IOU for a meal out at their favorite place, or your favorite place, and go together and enjoy it. Besides, there’s something about food where, so long as you don’t get it horribly wrong, everyone is always happy to get it.
6. Gift Card or Certificate
Gift cards are great for people well, those who like to shop, and when you have a limited budget. Buy a generic card for use anywhere that accepts them and choose an amount that fits what you’re willing to spend for the recipient.
So, you’ve gone through both lists and you are still scratching your head. There is nothing at all that seems right, that they will like and you will be happy giving. A gift card or gift certificate to a favorite store, restaurant, or recreational spot is the perfect way to show you care. Gift cards can wind people up.
Read more: How to Choose E-co Friendly Gift Ideas