Happy friday everyone! It just so happens to be my birthday today and I have been getting text messages, phone calls, and FB posts all day! Some family and friends have been sending me some birthday gifts so its a fun time. A lot of them live far away, so they happen to come in the form of packages usually. Tonight, my hubby and I are going out to eat to celebrate. A surprise restaurant! Will not know until I get there.
Today’s post will be about gift giving and how to make sure you make it as earth friendly and wallet friendly as possible. A lot of the people I give gifts to are out of town so I ship those usually, others are closer by and I can see them in person. Either way, through shipping or through giving in person, there are ways to cut down on waste and money spent.
Being more thoughtful in your choices
There is nothing worse than giving a gift to someone, and then finding out they have absolutely no use for it! If you do not put any thought in the gift and the person who is receiving it, chances are it will be something that will be tossed into the trash. Not only can it be more meaningful, but there is a greater chance it will be used. When in doubt, I would say just go for the gift card so you have a better chance of getting them something they will actually use. Food gifts are also another great last minute option! Who does not like cookies or some candy? Of course, just keep in mind if that person likes sweets.
Plan ahead and try not to get last minute gifts too! When you are rushing around most likely you will buy whatever you see first. Give yourself a bit of time to really buy something that fits the person. You can shop around for the best price if you have time, if not then you will end up buying something you probably could have gotten for less.
Packaging and Shipping
If you have to end up shipping the gift anyways, there is a chance that if you buy the item online that you will save on shipping and packaging costs. Many online stores offer lower shipping prices than USPS does. If it is a heavier item, most likely it is better to buy online than in store. Buying in store means that you can add a personal card to it, but it also means you will need to get your own box and prepare it to ship yourself. I tend to buy larger and heavier items online to ship. Smaller flatter items that I can send first class I will try to buy in store. When buying online, I never get the gift wrap option either. It costs more to gift wrap most of the time, and it wastes more paper! I like to think that opening the box is just the same as unwrapping a gift!
Choosing ground shipping whenever possible is also a great way to save money and earth resources! Ground shipping will be much slower but uses less fuel. Overnight and express will most definitely use an airplane to ship your package.
Here is one area I can do much better on. I tend to try to use gift bags as much as possible. Just toss the gift in there and it is good to go. If I happen to have tissue paper lying round then I will put it in to pretty it up. It is a great reusable option and I always save gift bags to reuse. The area I am weak in is Christmas time and kid gifts! I tend to wrap a lot more gifts during Christmas time because the wrapping paper is so much more colorful and fun. Gifts for kids are always more fun wrapped too! Kids have so much fun unwrapping the gift! In fact, sometimes I see them unwrap the gift with glee, then toss aside the gift to unwrap the next thing.
So what can I do? For one, I can look for recycled wrapping paper. Then, I can make sure I recycle every bit of wrapping paper as soon as it is unwrapped. I usually do this pretty frequently during Christmas and have a huge bag stuffed with wrapping paper.
Another thing I can do is to use old magazines and newspapers as wrapping paper instead. The gift is the thing that counts anyways, not the wrapping paper.
One more option is to not wrap the gift at all! If it is just my husband I will hide the gift until it is time to give to him. Then voila! Here you go hubby! No worries about wrapping the gift or recycling the paper afterwards!
What do you do when it comes to gift giving? Do you love the extremely wrapped gifts? Or do you not care about the wrapping at all?