Is Recycling Gifts Really That Bad?
We have so much stuff. Do we actually need more Santa mugs and fluffy slippers even for Christmas? Probably not. Whether you enjoy the holidays because of all the gifts or you find joy in giving them, the idea of handling presents sustainably and mindfully is a conversation we must have. Let’s break down myths about recycling gifts or regifting for Christmas. Is it really that tacky and should it always be avoided?
Myth 1 – Regifting is thoughtless.
Correction – Regifting, above anything else, can actually be considerate and thoughtful if you do so with the intention of being mindful of your impact on the planet during the holiday season.
When choosing which gifts to give, ask yourself if the gifts you consider recycling towards someone has worthwhile value for the receiver. A great second-hand book is arguably more valuable than a brand new one. Your notes inside could potentially show your genuine interest and love for the novel, making it even more meaningful to receive.
Myth 2 – Regifting feels cheap.
Correction – It is possible to regift tastefully. You’re not automatically “cheap” for regifting.
If your item is still in perfect condition, it has a lot of potential to become someone’s treasure. If the person you are planning to get a present for has mentioned anything about environmentalism or advocates conscious consumerism, I’d bet that they wouldn’t find your regift cheap at all! It is worthy of commendation if you make it clear that you are also trying to be mindful of your impact as a consumer while still wanting to share gifts in this season.
Consider elevating your presentation too. Put in the effort to package your gift nicely. Reuse a paper bag, or make use of second-hand ribbons! Take the time to write a note to express your thought and perhaps intent with the gift.
But note! Do not regift anything handmade that someone has made for you. That would not only come across as confusing but would also increase your chances of offending the recipient of your gift and the person who originally gave it to you originally. It is obvious when you give something for the sake of ridding unwanted clutter.
Myth 3 – Regifting is last minute.
Correction – There is no need to hide the origin of your gift. If appropriate or expected, share the thought and reasoning that you have as to why you thought this particular item would be desired by the recipient. We should be honest with the receiver of our gift. Perhaps you know they’ve been searching for a dress with that silhouette? Or you’ve noticed them eye a novel after seeing its movie version recently? Or that they’ve been obsessing over waffle recipes on Instagram?
On that note, when regifting, it is often wiser to consider new or barely used items. If the boots you are considering to regift are clearly worn out, that wouldn’t be a kind move. If it happens to be slightly too small for you or never matched your style, then find the original box and consider regifting them. Also, double-check that the original gift giver’s tags, notes, tapes, or cards have been removed. You wouldn’t want your recipient to find an odd lovey-dovey letter tucked in there!
Regifting is often made to seem like a scary concept, making us feel a bit ashamed when we consider it or even annoyed when we are on the receiving end. Perhaps it’s about time that we learn to love it. Recycling gifts can be done with much thought and love. In light of being mindful and slow during this giving season, we can treat our environment with the same regard. It’s a big win-win in my eyes! Save some cash while saving the planet—one gift at a time.