It seems that quite recently the tide has turned or the “point has been tipped”. As Malcolm Gladwell explains in his book The Tipping Point, there is a time when an idea becomes an epidemic and hits a point of critical mass. It seems we have reached that point in the area of GREEN living and sustainable lifestyles. You can’t read a magazine or turn on the TV these days without hearing something about living GREEN, building GREEN, buying GREEN and so on. Nearly all of our society is at least aware of this movement and many are involved in some way on some level.
Gift giving unites people and can be an enjoyable experience. It’s been with us for centuries and will continue to survive but now it must be done in a more responsible fashion. It’s imperative we not clutter the earth with any more than is necessary. Adhering to a GREEN gifting policy may seem like a small gesture in comparison to some of the more global issues, but every little bit helps. And as these GREEN habits are instituted in families they will be passed on to our children, making them GREENER givers.
It’s important to buy items that have low or no impact on our environment and at the same time remember that material things ultimately don’t make the difference. It is love, caring and sharing that makes giving worthwhile. A gift whether large or small, expensive or hand made requires thought and understanding of the other person and what will please them. Whenever possible we need to disengage from or pocketbooks and engage our hearts.
In our materialistic society we see evidence daily of over-consumerism. Most of us have too much stuff and generally stuff we don’t need. Many of us shop to fill time or gaps in our emotional life. Shopping can become an addiction as harmful to people and their families as any other type of addiction. Be aware of your shopping habits, your gifting strategies. Take a good look at the motivation behind both.
The truth is, most of us won't ever become completely GREEN when it comes to gift giving. If your sixteen-year-old daughter's fondest desire is to receive an MP3 player or your parents need a DVD player to view photos and films of the grandchildren, the gift most likely won't be of the reused, re-gifted or sustainable variety. However, we can each choose to do our part when it's possible. A little effort is better than no effort. We must start somewhere and this is one of the ways we can do so. And along the way you can set a fine example for friends and family.
In closing I must refer again to words that resonate with me, it is Mr. Gladwell's well chosen subtitle to The Tipping Point..."How Little Things Make a Big Difference."