UGA GreenWay News

A Greener Way of Living, at Home and Abroad

Green Gift Giving Ideas

Is your house like mine and filled with stuff?  Lately I have been cleaning and trying to downsize.  I am finding things that I no longer use, but they are still in good condition and could be useful to someone else. Yes, I know I can donate things, but what about passing them along to my friends and family. Is it taboo to re-gift?  I don’t think so.  I have been doing it on and off for years. I call them “PASS ALONG GIFTS.”

When I buy a new ornament I often give it a “test run” on my tree and then pass it along to someone else the next year.  Not a lot of wear and tear on a tree ornament, so it is basically a very lightly used item.  Last year I cleaned out a closet that contained lots of things I had purchased and never used, along with a few of those “gift with purchase” items.  I put everything in a laundry basket and let people choose the gift they wanted.  It helped me get rid of things I no longer needed while giving others something they wanted or could use as a gift to give to someone else!

A friend of mine is retiring in a couple of years and planning to move across the country. She decided instead of selling her nicer pieces of art, pottery and glass she will return them to the original gift giver. Her philosophy is that if I bought you something, or brought you back something from a trip, then I probably liked that item and wouldn’t mind having it in my house. I think this is a great example of “Pass Along Gifting.”  She is even telling her friends to expect to see something familiar looking in their package this year.

Of course there are always those things someone gave you that just wasn’t your “style. ” You know, like that jar for belly button lint,  or the plastic antler table ornament someone gave you.  Someone out there may really want that item or it could be a great gag gift at the office holiday party.

Passing along gifts to others has several advantages:  (1) Reducing your need to shop; (2) Helps you downsize; (3) You save money by not having to buy gifts; (4) Your impact on the environment is reduced since new products are not being produced; and (5) You get to share something you treasure with someone who will appreciate it.

For my birthday this year my 100 year old friend let me choose a piece of jewelry and a scarf from among the things she hasn’t already given away. Over the past several years she has made it a practice to pass along her “treasures” to others.  I will always treasure those items because they remind me of someone very special to me.

What Pass Along Gifts can you give this holiday season?


About Pamela Turner

I am an Associate Professor and Extension Housing & Environment Specialist at the University of Georgia. I have a passion for helping people improve their home environment and live greener and healthier lives. An important part of that is helping people weed through all of the information to find trustworthy sources.

One comment on “Green Gift Giving Ideas

  1. Pingback: Giving Green & Healthy Gifts | UGA GreenWay News

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