Is it possible to offer ecological gifts? Besides, does it make sense? Such questions are legitimate, especially as we approach the holiday season, a time when giving gifts is often synonymous with shopping and consumerism in the broadest sense. To lighten our footprint and relieve the planet, would the solution simply be to give up giving gifts?
We don’t think so: it would mean giving up a great source of generosity and recognition that we need. From that point on, we should probably start looking for compromises, by offering gifts, certainly, but not just any gifts: giving gifts should be an opportunity to make more responsible choices but also to pass on messages that need to be conveyed and generalized more than ever.
With the trend towards organic and eco-friendly products, this should be easier today than in the past. But to find the right idea in this area, we still have to sort through the sirens of marketing. Without necessarily claiming to be able to do so, this article presents you today with a few leads that we hope will guide you in your search.
More virtuous gifts
Without necessarily aiming for perfection (which at the last news would always be a decoy), there are criteria of choice that will ensure that your gift will have virtues that the average gift will not have. For example:
- an object produced locally will limit the impact due to its transport;
a reasonable packaging will lead to less exploitation of raw materials upstream and less waste downstream;
- An object without plastic will avoid swelling the piles that pollute our land and oceans;
- more generally, we can look at the materials of which it is made and the manufacturing processes used to limit both the consumption of large quantities of energy and the use of toxic elements (which, incidentally, is as good for health as it is for the environment);
- this is obviously true for agricultural products bearing the organic label which do not favour the application of pesticides ;
- it is also true for those who do not come from animal husbandry, as this weighs so heavily on the environment, without forgetting in passing the suffering that can be avoided for these dear little animals;
- an object that requires little or no energy input to be used (whether electric or fossil fuel) will obviously have less impact, and this virtue will be all the greater if it replaces an object that uses energy.