The Imperfect Digest

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3 Ways to Give Less Wasteful Gifts

3 Ways to Give Less Wasteful Gifts

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Americans throw away 25% more trash during the holidays than any other time of year according to a study by Stanford University. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week between Thanksgiving and New Years, every year. Do thoughtful gifts have to create mountains of wrapping paper and packaging that go straight in the trash? Not at all! Here are 3 ways to turn this trend around: 

  • Wrap presents in newspaper! Instead of buying gift wrap that you’ll use once and then throw out, why not use your gifts as a chance to reuse other paper that you have around the house? Comics, newspaper, and even old grocery bags all make great gift wrap! If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields!

  • Give a handmade gift! It’s a holiday fact that handmade gifts are more unique, memorable, and fun than store bought ones anyway. Something like a hand-knit scarf, piece of artwork, or batch of baked goods is often cheaper than a store bought version, is easier to personalize, and yes, comes with way less packaging, too. Kitchen gifts like homemade jam or pickles are particularly fun and can use up some of that seasonal produce you've got around. 

  • Embrace the experiential gift! Did you know that experiences actually make us happier than physical gifts? Psychological studies have repeatedly shown that people remember experiences longer and more fondly than gifts. Instead of buying another trinket, give the gift of a trip somewhere special, a fun dance/cooking class, or even a home-cooked meal. It speaks volumes and doesn’t need to be wrapped in anything! 

 

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