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Waste Less This Gift-Giving Season

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Waste Less This Gift-Giving Season

With the holiday season upon us (or so the circulars tell me) I thought I’d devote today’s column to gift giving. Let’s face it folks, for a lot of us, its not going to be the big present year that we were hoping for. The economy is in the gutter, year-end bonuses have gone with it, and many people are trying to figure out what to do for the holidays.

For starters, let’s all take a deep breath, grab some couch, and think about the gifts that we have given and received in the past few years. Can you remember what you got last year? How about the year before? Can you remember what you gave someone eight years ago? If you’re like me, you basically have no clue.

Now, sit back, close your eyes for a minute, and think back to the first time you had dinner with your spouse, your child’s first school play, or the last time your entire family was together (well, maybe some don’t want to recall that one). If one of those specifics doesn’t apply, pick one that does. Does it make you smile when you think of it? Can you recall specifics of the particular event or happening? If you are like me, the answer to that question is yes because interpersonal experiences tend to hold much more long-term value than any plastic wrapped soon to break thing ever can.

So this year, how about breaking with tradition and laying off the stuff?

Instead of that new doll, electronic video game or stereophonic hi fidelity music replicator, why not give someone the gift of an experience. A lot of people have called me on the fact that if everyone stopped buying, the economy would collapse, and they might be right (I never really understood economics past my piggy bank so I’m assuming). Thankfully, giftless giving is a great way to bolster your local economy (emphasis on local there) and still keep yourself out of the whole production cycle.

Next page: A few ideas for ya:

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Read more: Blogs, Christmas, Conscious Consumer, Family, Green Gifts, Hanukkah, Holidays, Life, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Sustainable Dave, , , , , ,

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Dave Chameides

Dave Chameides is a filmmaker and environmental educator. His website and newsletter are designed to inspire thought and dialogue on environmental solutions and revolve around the idea that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. "Give people the facts, and they'll choose to do the right thing."

68 comments

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10:27AM PST on Jan 30, 2010

To adults or big children you can explain not giving gifts but small children should be allowed at least a few toys.

12:40PM PST on Dec 21, 2009

I tend to make stuff for my parents, normally a photo in an interesting frame that i make myself, then i wrap it in newspaper using minimal tape... Just something i've been doing since i was a kid

8:39PM PST on Dec 15, 2009

how sweet

1:54PM PST on Dec 15, 2009

Inspiring.

1:18AM PST on Dec 14, 2009

Some great ideas.
Each year I buy a lottery ticket for us - it is run through a charity and there are monthly draws. We've never won big, but we know we're contributing to society and giving ourselves a little thrill each draw ...

2:57PM PST on Dec 13, 2009

Very good ideas!

1:17PM PST on Dec 12, 2009

Here's a gift under $20 Ocean ambiance on DVD. What do you get a diner party host? wine? try this.
hd2o.com

6:25AM PST on Dec 12, 2009

I can't imagine Not giving gifts. I make most of them myself and really enjot the time I spend making them.

2:12AM PST on Dec 12, 2009

Please let me know when you're holding your first recital of E.L.O. on bagpipes- I'd like to come!

7:25AM PST on Dec 11, 2009

things you make yourself are truely the best gifts.....art.clothes.jewlery!!! i made paintings last year!!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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