Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have passed, bringing with it new “stuff” in the form of gifts- makeup, shoes, and a dress for Mom, another drill, a speaker, and BBQ tongs for Dad. Though there is nothing wrong with giving and receiving thoughtful gifts, the growing consumer culture has invaded our homes, leaving duplicates of everything, items that we rarely or never use, or eventually goes out of style. What happens when we start clearing it out? It gets thrown into landfills and takes thousands of years to decompose as we happily skip to the store to get a replacement.
In order to create a more sustainable culture, both environmentally and financially, why don’t we give value to each other in the form of consumables or experiences? This way the item with either get used up by the lucky recipient, give them value, or else it will form an incredible memory, a very valuable gift indeed.
If you are trying to transition to a less consumer-driven and clutter free lifestyle and want to incorporate those values into the gifts you give, here are some ideas for sustainable gifts that every member of your family will enjoy.
Your wife is your partner in life and in love. You want her to feel beautiful, secure, and appreciated. As a gift, why don’t you offer her something that will tackle any of the little insecurities she has? Approaching her with a gift card to a hair salon with amazing reviews that will give her the bounce in her step or buying a her a session with a nutritionist to address her health concerns, shows that you listen to her and her problems. Has she been complaining about her complexion? Photorejuvenation offers dramatic improvement for smoother and healthier looking skin and an inevitable boost of confidence.
If your husband has a favorite band that he listens to or sports team that he cheers for, look into getting tickets for a concert or a game. A pass to an event like this can be an incredible, memorable experience, especially once you get to major league sports and international competitions like the Olympics. Aren’t quite there financially? Get some season tickets for a local team for great family bonding opportunities. Similarly, try finding rare concerts that can create a life-long memory and packs a big impression.
Your Son: Personal Training Session
Truthfully, everyone should invest in the help of a personal trainer when starting off at the gym. However, the most unlikely group to ask for the help of the pros are young men. They have insecurities, lack of resources, and a lot of pride. By gifting your son a few sessions with a personal trainer, not only will you jumpstart his success in this field, you will decrease the probability of him getting injured while training. Though it’s a gift that might be met with a little apprehension, know that it will be well appreciated by the end.
Your Daughter: Makeup/Style Consultation
It seems like your daughter’s closet is exploding and her stuff is all over the house. Is that another hair curler? She already has two! Chances are she has a lot of tools, clothes, and makeup for self-expression, but your daughter might not know how to do it properly. Book her a consultation with a professional makeup artist or fashion stylist who can deliver a one-on-one workshop. Your daughter will learn how to highlight her beautiful features and express her unique style with the personalized advice of professionals. Hopefully afterwards she will be able to zero in on her style and recycle or give away all the extra things she won’t need anymore.
So before you hit the mall to do some mindless gift shopping, think of what you can give that doesn’t just add more clutter to the recipient’s name. Do something for yourself, your family, and the environment: buy sustainably!