One thing that is coming up over and over again is birthdays, christmas, exams etc when you are expected to buy gifts. This is a very nice gesture, accordning to me, but what it also gives up to is exagerated consumption of uneccesary things. To buy something just for the reason of buying and giving is not very wise, not for the person who has to make room for this new thing, and not for the environment that has to sacrifies its scarce resourses for your gift to be produced. Lately I have been thinging of this a bit and for possible alternative and solutions that could replace this routine act of buying "crap-gifts" (excuse the expression). I concluded this:
1. Buy an experience
It can be a day at a spa, an outing together with you, a restaurant or café visit, concert-tickets etc. This kind of consumption (mostly) is much more environmental friendly, it stimulates the local society and it gives your friend a true memory and joy that will last much longer than what the joy of another candle lantern or trendy scarf will do..
2. Buy something that is useful and will last for a long time
Lately I have been asking my family for really sustainable and practical things for my future home for christmas and birthday-gifts. I think it is great to collect things that I can use in my everyday-life later on and cherish and take care of so that it will last maybe even for my grand-children. The iron pot on the image above is one of these things. I got it as a present from my family when I finished my bachelor studies. For my birthday this year I wish to recieve a sewing mashine from a well known mark so that I can repare and sew things by myself, and also be able to take it to serivce if I ever get a problem with it.3. Give money to an organization in his/her name
Nowadays many organizations have "gift-shops" where you can buy cards that supports their important work. Some allow you to choose exactly what to support (eg. to buy a goat for a family), and some are using the money in the way that serves the people and the projects within the organization best. I personaly love the cards that Diakonia is selling since 2015 with beautiful and wise quotes.
This is my favorite among the cards from Diakonia. See the rest of them here.
4. Do something yourself
According to me, nothing gives more joy than a work of a pair of hands. Especialy if you are good at arts and crafts you should defenitly take advatage of that and design and make your own presents for your loved ones. But remember that it's not sustainable or environmental friendly just because you do it yourself. Craft-materials can do as much harm as other products so take notice of what you use - try to do recycling-craft and buy environmental counscious glue and other tools if you need that. It is also a good idea to make really useful things so that, once again, we don't contribute to the garbage mountain.
Do you have more ideas of counscious presents or gifts? Please share in a comment!