- Nitha Vashti - guest writer.
Finding gifts that your loved ones want, need and will cherish — and that won’t harm the planet — can be a challenge, but that doesn’t mean gift giving can’t be ethical.
At The Good Registry, we’re all about making gift giving as meaningful and waste-free as possible, so we’ve put together six simple suggestions to help you ‘Gift Good’, with gifts that are guaranteed to make a difference and reduce waste!
1. Choose information over surprise
Have you ever received a gift that left you disappointed? A gift you didn’t really want or need?
We have: in fact, it’s part of the reason why The Good Registry was created!
Unwanted gifts are wasteful and unnecessary. Every material gift comes at an environmental and social cost, so always make sure you are purchasing a gift someone needs or wants.
While it may not be a surprise, choosing a gift that you know your loved one wants is far more valuable. Ask for a list from your loved ones, so that you can check instead of taking a gamble. Bonus points, it shows you’re listening if you get them something they really want!
What better way to show you care about someone than to use your creativity to make something for them. Find your perfect gift for that special person in your life and get creating!
Our personal favourites are home baking, terrariums and tote bags. Get creative and use resources on hand to create something amazing. Most importantly, have fun doing it.
Read more about the good you can create yourself here.
3. Support ethical brands
If you are searching for that perfect gift, look to support some ethical brands. Our favourite social enterprises include Ethique, Indigo & Iris, Kind Bottle and The Cookie Project.
Indigo & Iris have just a few days to run in their crowdfunding campaign for new ethical lipsticks. Pledge to their crowdfunding campaign and gift a lippie that you can give as a gift, with 50% of the profits going towards charity Dress for Success. (If the target is reached lipsticks will be sent out January 2020). Pledge here.
Looking for the perfect gift for that sweet tooth in your life? Our friends at The Cookie Project have just won the 2019 Sweet as Hutt Chocolate Challenge with their Cookie Cup. Providing paid work for people with disabilities, The Cookie Project are just as delicious to support as their cookies (which are yum, trust us!) Shop here.
Ethique’s mission is to rid the world of plastic waste, creating solid bars for all of your beauty needs. They have recently partnered with conservationist Bindi Irwin, with $1 from each of these limited bars sold going to the Wildlife Warriors foundation. Gift them here.
Looking for a gift for someone who hasn’t kicked the single-use drink bottle habit? Kind Bottle is perfect! They sell insulated stainless-steel drink bottles with $1 of every bottle sold donated to Sustainable Coastlines (they’re one of our charity partners at The Good Registry too!). Purchase here!
View our full list of Good gift ideas here.
4. Shop locally
Gift locally by attending local markets, fairs and shops. Support local creatives and keep your money within your community. When you shop locally, you are reducing the environmental impact of shipping and packaging online items. Bonus — no pre-event stress about it arriving on time.
View upcoming markets and fairs here.
5. Give an experience
A gift doesn’t always have to be physical, an experience can say much more to that special person in your life. Free from packaging and at a low cost, a shared experience can be incredibly valuable. Plus you share in the perks as well!
These gifts could include:
- A night out to see a movie
- A picnic
- A dinner out
- A beach day
- A special home-cooked meal
Get creative and make some memories.
6. Gift to a third party
Pay that gift forward by volunteering together with your favourite charity. This allows you to spend time with your loved ones and give back to your community. Volunteering not only gives you the warm fuzzies but also makes an impact in your community.
Charities are always looking for volunteers around Christmas, so it could be the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone with your giftee.
Get in touch with your favourite charities to see if there are ways you can help, or visit the Volunteering NZ website.
Can’t find the time to volunteer but still want to give back? You can still gift good with a Good Gift Card from The Good Registry!
Our Good Gift Cards are a sustainable way of giving someone the gift of giving. With about 65 charity partners, your friends and loved-ones can donate to the charities of their choice. You can purchase these from The Good Registry website here.
Bonus Extra: Wrapping!
Positive giving isn’t just about the gift but includes the way you wrap. Ditch the plastic packaging with our suggestions:
Reduce waste by reusing any paper or ribbon for a low cost and ethical alternative.
- Wrap with fabric
Scarves, scrap fabric, tea towels, handkerchiefs and large napkins can all serve as sustainable wrapping, offering a bonus gift to your loved one. Learn the art of furoshiki and knot wrap your gift here.
- Old newspapers or maps
Upcycle the papers that have been sitting in your home for too long for a cute and sustainable look.
- Gift naked
If it is unnecessary, just gift without wrapping. Trust us, they want the present not the wrapping!
Good Giving with The Good Registry
We have created two simple ways to give and receive the gift of giving through our website:
- Create your own Good Registry for a special event (e.g. a wedding or a birthday) and ask friends to donate to a charity you choose, instead of buying gifts.
- Give Good Gift Cards instead of traditional gifts, to enable others to make donations to charities they care about.
You can hear from people who have used Good Registries and Good Gift Cards to give more simply and sustainably, and to help causes they care about, on our inspirational Giving Wall