Friday, December 4, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Green Your Holidays with Recycled Gift Giving


Oh, the holiday season is full swing now, and if you're like me, you give gifts for all of them. I simply can't resist a winter gift-giving occasion, whether I'm delivering a box of frozen organic latkes, or a homemade Kinara cleverly crafted from an old egg carton. As you might have guessed, the common element is always kindness to the planet.

There are lots of easy ways that you can make your gifts kind to the planet, but one that often gets overlooked is Recycled Gift Giving, or "Regifting" for short. Regifting is sustainable, because no additional resources are required to produce the gift. You simply take a gift that you received on a previous occasion, wrap it nicely in colorful hemp paper if it's not still in the original gift-wrap, cross out your name on the "To" tag and insert the name of the person to whom you are giving it.

I have been using this planet-friendly method for many of my gifts every since I saw a fascinating documentary on the subject that aired on NBC back in January of 1995. According to the documentary, there are a variety of items that are ideal for regifting, such as tickets to major sporting events or label makers. As an added bonus, I've found that items I recycle often find their way back around to me, sometimes from unexpected sources! Not only have I seen the same whole-grain, unsulfured fruitcake return to my household more than once, but my family was recently reunited with the macaroni artwork that my son gave to a friend for St. Patrick's Day.

Naturally, it's important to make sure that the gifts you recycle are not perishable, and that recycled gifts to children do not contain alcohol or choking hazards. If you follow those simple guidelines, though, you will find that recycled gifts are the gifts you keep on regiving for years to come!

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