Re-Gifting: Green and Guilt-Free

present_and_candlesRegifting is no longer taboo. No longer thought of as tacky and cheap, re-gifted presents are now viewed as the best kind by environmentalists and the budget-conscious.

Especially right after the holidays, I always notice that my family has too much stuff. When gifts are new and just torn from the wrapping-paper is the best time to start thinking about re-gifting—because the number-one rule of re-gifting is that presents can’t have ever been used!

For some strange reason, just about everyone likes to give me bath products—though I do shower quite thoroughly, so I know it is not some kind of hint. I love lavender and the smell of pomegranate so maybe that has something to do with it. But unless I live to 120, there’s no way I’ll use it all. What to do?….re-gift.

Just because it isn’t coming straight from the store doesn’t mean a gift has no value. Some items are untouched and you may have friends who would absolutely love them. If I feel bad about not spending money, I can always make a charitable donation.


Make sure you know where the gift came from so that you don’t accidentally return a gift to its original giver, and try to keep gifts circulating among different groups. For example, if you have something from a work friend you may be able to pass it on to a family member.

Make sure it is not the type of gift the giver will constantly ask about, saying: “Don’t you like those earrings I bought you; I never see you wear them”?

A creative concept in re-gifting is changing the item’s purpose. It’s almost like creating a new gift. You can take one thing and give it another purpose. For instance:

Ever get a pair of gloves that don’t quite fit? Cut off from the knuckles down and have a fashionable pair of fingerless gloves.

Take some fun holiday pictures and find some plain old bookends. Decoupage the pictures on the inside of the bookends and put votive candles on either side, they’ll make a nice piece.

When wrapping these recycled gifts, make sure to be as eco-conscious as possible. Here are some tips for green wrapping.

There are some items that should never be re-gifted:

– Worn clothes

Things that have been sitting in your living room

– Things from companies that no longer exist

– Food

– Something damaged

– Something inscribed

– Generally anything over 2 years old

If you’re ever feeling bad about re-gifting, think about the impact you will make on the environment. The item could potentially end up in a landfill. Would your gift-giver feel better if you returned it or threw it away? Also, make sure the gift is something the new recipient can use; don’t just unload it on someone else because you don’t want it. You may even want to spruce up the gift or add on to it. Say you regift a cookbook—why not add a cooking spoon or if you regift a bath set you can put it in a carry case?

If you have the notion that you are the victim of a re-gift, don’t be judgmental or take it personally—

REduce, REuse, REcycle and RE-gift.

via THE GOOD WORD: Westchester County | Inspirational Stories About People, Planet & Success In Westchester County.  by Jill Selby Editor, The Good Word


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