Gifting & Sustainability: Picking thoughtful gifts for people & the planet
Let’s address the elephant in the room. We all have a cupboard somewhere that hides a trove of products that we keep as “emergency gifts.” Bags, candles, scarves, lotions and more sit unused and untouched until we inevitably give it to someone as a “gift.”
Odds are, they’ll probably keep it in their cupboard until they pass it on to the next miserable soul. These gifts, while handy, do nothing for your loved one, or the rest of the world. It is wasteful and builds demand for manufactured goods that sit around doing nothing.
Picking sustainable gifts means being mindful of what you purchase. Ecofriendly products, made with the right materials, manufacturing process and non-polluting use can help reduce your carbon footprint. More importantly, since you’re gifting it, it can also reduce their carbon footprint!
So how do you do it? We have ideas!
Handcrafted is the best!
Odds are, you are out looking for ecofriendly gifts online. While many products claim to be plastic and/or chemical-free, there is a very small chance you’ll get to verify it. If not the product itself, chances are it’ll come wrapped in miles of plastic packaging. Some of the best ecofriendly products often fall prey to the packaging disaster of online platforms. So, as usual, Our Better Planet recommends handcrafted products.
Most handcrafted products in India, often use traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. This means, that these products are the very livelihood of talented artists and craftspeople. Not only does a gift like this express warmth and love, but also helps sustain thousands of artisans around the country. More often, these products are made with traditional and natural raw materials, making your gift truly unique.
Traditional art or handicrafts, artisanal soaps, handmade scented candles, rich handspun fabrics, the possibilities are endless! Look out for brands that show off their plastic-free packaging. Also, if all else fails, we have it on good authority that a gift of yummy food never fails!
The gifts that last a lifetime
Let’s face it, after a few years of displaying gifts, we end up tossing them out. So how do you work around that?
Gifts do not need to be tangible! Have you ever gifted someone an experience? Gift travel tickets, spa vouchers, a trip to a vineyard or plantation, hit an all-you-can-eat buffet, pay for a class they’ve been meaning to take, plan a hike or a night under the skies!
Experiences are a far more sustainable alternative to cheap trinkets bought online. There is no heavy demand for non-renewable resources, no damaging manufacturing process, and no shady supply chain. Along the way, you’ll make memories that last forever! Now isn’t that the best kind of gift?
Upcycle your life
Over the last few years, many brands have changed the upcycling scene. Ingenious ideas, gorgeous designs, and skillful crafting mean there are many products today that have started tackling our growing garbage problems. Upcycling simply means, taking scrap materials and turning them into useful products. This helps reduce the demand for virgin materials and damaging resources. If you’re looking for sustainable gift ideas, this is by far, one of the best ways to go.
Why stop there? Upcycling is the perfect way to create customised gifts. Do you have an old baby blanket? Turn it into a cushion! An old saree? Turn it into a skirt or a bag. An old cup from their childhood? Plant them a little succulent in it. The possibilities are endless!