When we do declutter in the house, we can notice that most of the things we decided to get rid of, we did not buy ourselves. This list includes various gifts and bonuses for purchases, stationery from conferences, books and magazines presented to us, dishes, and much more. The conclusion is disappointing: We can only call 5% of our gifts really successful, while the rest had to be handed out, sold, and regifted.
How to choose a good gift
Many people often choose something that they like as a gift, rather than something that can please the person being gifted. Do not give an atheist an icon(religious work of art), a minimalist a plush toy, or a zero-waste person plastic wrapped in plastic and wrapped in plastic gift paper. All of the above are non-fictional stories from life, by the way.
In general, even if you know exactly what the person wants, you may not be able to guess the color or design. For example, bed linen. Nice, high quality, but with an annoying print. Or white cups and a person loves only transparent ones. Or a sewing kit and person has given up sewing for two years already.
It is worth saying that the topic of gifts can give you inconvenience if you decide to live a minimalistic life without junk and garbage. But we believe there can be a healthy balance between this lifestyle and the gift-giving culture.
Here are the main values for choosing gifts:
- Support for local producers, especially small and handcrafted
- Things that will not potentially clutter up the space
- If possible, these gifts should be Zero Waste, that is, have a minimum of packaging without plastic
- They should be worth a reasonable price.
Here are some tips on how to give unique eco-friendly products without spending a lot of money:
- Take a stroll through the second hand. People who are far from the idea of caring for nature will react weird to the “second-hand” gift. But if your friends share your views and values, then they will only be happy about something unique and vintage, because buying in a secondhand eliminates the pollution of nature that occurs in order to produce and sell you a new product.
- DIY gifts. If you know how to do something with your hands, you can always make it for a gift. This can be a knitted hat, embroidered napkins or handmade soap.
- Regift what didn’t fit. It may seem that we are now raising a forbidden topic, but why not? Many do this, but few admit it. If someone gives you a gift, the real value is in the attention. Accept it with gratitude, and then calmly hand it over to the person who will actually use it for its intended purpose.
Cool tip: when buying a gift, follow the rule:
‘Something you want, something you wear, something you read and something you need’
So let’s get down to ideas.
What to give a conscious person
So, gifts can be divided into several large groups. These are impression gifts, gifts for hobbies, physical gifts for minimalists and Zero Waste enthusiasts, gifts for children and animals, consumer goods, food, subscription to anything.
It is worth saying – not all of the ideas on this list will work for you. Some of them may not be suitable for extreme minimalists or may not be zero waste enough. Choosing a gift is not easy, so we tried to write as many ideas and options as possible for different budgets. They are suitable for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Birthday, and any other holiday, as they are universal.
The idea is old, but almost a win-win – give an experience instead of things! As you know, a person can enjoy a purchased or donated item for a maximum of three days. But a person will remember the positive impressions he has experienced for the rest of his life! The most positive experience you can have with your friend, so choose the experience that works for both of you:
- Dinner, lunch or breakfast at your favorite restaurant
- Festive dinner at home, if you love and know how to cook
- Master class in pottery, painting, dance, etc.
- Tickets to the theater, cinema, museum, concert
- Gym, yoga or fitness membership
- SPA or massage certificate
- Horse riding
- Gift certificate for cleaning an apartment or house
- Beauty salon certificate
- Food (jam, canning, chocolate, etc.)
- Online subscription, paid apps, audiobooks
- Joint travel
- Certificate for driving courses, yacht management, Language courses
- Photo session from a professional photographer
- Skydiving, trampoline, go-cart, training flight on an airplane – for extreme lovers
- Hike or excursion trip
- Hot air balloon flight
- ATV ride or jeep safari
- Quest room, virtual reality club, planetarium
- Recording and mixing a song
Gifts for sustainable living
If you want to make the life of a loved one a little more environmentally friendly, you can give him matching gifts. It is worth knowing in advance whether he has such a thing or not, so as not to give a take.
- Zero Waste set. It is worth considering it as a gift for a beginner, it will really help a person to start (if, of course, he wants it and has already matured) and he does not have to buy everything in different stores and order international delivery
- Shopping bags, eco-bags, pouches.
- Reusable water bottle. A great alternative to the endless purchase of plastic bottles. Available in glass, metal and plastic.
- Travel bags. An unobvious but so necessary replacement for plastic bags! They can be used to store underwear, socks and other necessary little things.
- Reusable glass containers for home storage
- A reusable coffee and tea cup that can also be used for food.
- Reusable cutlery and drinking straws. They can be made of metal, bamboo, coconut, and the tubes can be made of silicone and even glass.
- A set of cloth napkins for everyday use
- Solid shampoos, shower gels without packaging, natural ethical cosmetics in Zero Waste packaging.
Give the person something they need
If you know exactly what your loved ones need, give them such a gift! Even minimalist Zero wasters sometimes buy things. Just ask the person what he wants for himself, there is nothing strange about it. Besides, not everyone likes surprises.
What you definitely don’t need to give
- Souvenirs. In principle, you should not give them to anyone, it does not matter whether this person is a minimalist or not. If these things cannot be applied in any way and they will just collect dust, what is the use of this gift?
- Plastic items packed in plastic. For almost any thing, you can find an analogue made of metal, glass or wood. Pick up just such gifts with a “soul”.
- Anything close to the body. This includes clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. This advice contradicts the quote above and will not work for everyone.
How to wrap a gift
The same rules apply as above – no plastic or shiny wrapping paper! Any paper that is suitable for packaging, kraft paper, or even a newspaper looks especially stylish. Interesting options can be found with fabric. Chances are, you already have the right packaging in your home. It’s time to apply it to create a stylish zero waste present!