"Green Gift Giving"
By Nikki Willhite
What do you do when you receive a present for which you have no
use? Ever had a neighbor come over with a bottle of wine when you
don't drink? How about a box of chocolates for a diabetic?
These gifts are a little easier to decline if you wish than
something that is just "taste specific", doesn't fit, or you
can't or don't want to use or display.
Most of us have been faced with this dilemma at some time in our
Perhaps we disposed of the gift in the trash, or took it to
Goodwill. However, there is another option, and it is called
Some people raise their eyebrows at the thought. I have to admit
that when I saw my first daughter-in-law take all her wedding
presents back to the store, I was shocked. I didn't even know
you could do that.
However, once you get use to these kinds of ideas, you realize
that they are just practical. If you are trying to save money,
they can also be frugal.
What seems to have no value to us, can have value for another
person and save us money when we give it to them instead of
spending money to buy them another item.
I guess you could say that was "Living Green". You are recycling
an item you just can't use.
Regifting is a skill Not only do you want to give your gift to
someone who will appreciate it, but you don't want to embarrass
yourself in the process.
There are rules to follow to help you in this process. Here are
1. Always attach a note to the gift you are planning on
recycling, with who gave it to you and the date you received it.
Obviously you don't want to give an item back to the person who
gave it to you (or one of their friends).
The date will remind you of the occasion of the gift. If after a
few years you still haven't found anyone that you think would
appreciate it, you may want to donate it to a thrift store.
2. Never pass around an object that has no value or that you
don't think anyone would like. You can try to sell it on Ebay, or
give it to a thrift store.
This includes items with any sign of damage, of having been used,
or missing the appropriate wrapping or tags.
I toured a thrift store a few years ago. At that time, they were
taking anything made with fiber. They bundled it and sent it
overseas, where it was reprocessed and made into clothing and
3. Never regift items with sentimental value, including gifts
from close family members and homemade items. There is too much
risk of hurting feelings.
4. Don't give items to people that were obviously free things
that were given to you. This would include things like items
with logos from companies.
5. Make sure the items you give are clean, and do not have dust
6. Check to make sure the item you are giving is still being
manufactured and sold, or could reasonably be expected to be
found on a store shelf.
I stock popular wedding presents in my home. If you do this, use
them in a reasonable amount of time, especially if the gift may
become "old technology".
7. Do pass along unwanted items to friends that you can't
regift, letting the recipient know that you thought of them and
wondered if they would like it. '
Forget the jokes about the "Circulating Fruit Cakes", and use
regifting as one of your frugal tools. With proper thought, one
person's "trash" can become another's "treasure".