You’ve likely heard the expression ‘conscious gifting’ and have a vague idea about what it means, but how do you actually put it into practice? With the holiday season and all the gifting that comes with it around the corner, it’s the perfect time to learn some ways to gift consciously — and then to adopt them moving forward.
Let’s start with what exactly conscious gifting means, shall we? Conscious gifting is giving presents that support causes you or the gift recipient cares about or something that will last a while or fill a purpose in someone’s life. Basically, it’s being more aware of the impact of your gift-giving on others and the planet.
So, what are some ways you can practice conscious gifting? Ahead, we share just a few ways to start — and remember, conscious gifting isn’t reserved for the holidays. If we want to lessen our negative impact on the planet, we should be conscious of our gift-giving habits — not to mention, general shopping habits — all year round, too.
Support Small Businesses
With the cost of living rising, many of us are cutting back on purchases we would normally make from small businesses. Often, it’s these businesses who can’t afford to offer big discounts and so we’re simply not buying from them.
To help support your local community and ensure they stay in business, consider buying from them this holiday season. Bonus: because they aren’t mass-produced, gifts from small businesses are often unique so they’ll be even more special to the recipient.
Buy Sustainable Gifts
Next up: buying gifts made ethically and from environmentally-responsible materials, and that are designed to last. Look out for businesses that are certified B Corporations or Fair Trade certified. We’ve rounded up a few sustainable gifts in a guide here.
Also, be aware that with ‘sustainability’ now a buzzword, more and more brands are jumping on the bandwagon claiming they’re sustainable when, in fact, they aren’t. There’s plenty of greenwashing happening so it’s important you do your research.
Buy Experiences Instead of Physical Gifts
Aside from the fact that an experience gift means you’re not contributing to the ‘stuff’ of the world, it also makes for a chance to create some long-lasting memories. This holiday season, consider giving someone an experience they can enjoy on their own (like a spa treatment), with you or with someone else they choose. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite experience gifts here.
Finally, another way to avoid giving material items as gifts is to donate to a charity on the recipient’s behalf instead. Spend some time online finding a charity you think would suit their personal interests and that they’d love to be a part of and then donate whatever amount you’d have spent for a gift no them.
You might even be able to receive a tax benefit from making the donation — though, don’t make that one of your primary reasons for gifting a donation.