'I Endorse Re-Gifting': Gift Recycling Gets a Green Re-Frame 'I Endorse Re-Gifting': Gift Recycling Gets a Green Re-Frame

'I Endorse Re-Gifting': Gift Recycling Gets a Green Re-Frame

by Amanda Hess

December 8, 2011

One childhood Christmas, a relative gifted me a cat-themed journal; it was inscribed to somebody else. At the time, I was super interested in both cats and journaling, and if the gift's original recipient was less so, I should have been glad that the item had finally found its rightful owner. But the re-gifting was a secret shame neither party could acknowledge to the other. When I stepped away from the tree, someone carefully tore out the offending page.

Re-gifting has since received a boost from the eco-conscious consumerism movement—your white elephant is now perfect for the person interested in journals, cats, and the environment. But passing a gift along to another remains a social faux pas—better to awkwardly exclaim "I love it!" before trashing it. Now, gift-givers can attempt to soften the blow with a new suite of sharable tools designed to show solidarity with re-gifters. Just download Brain Pickings' free, sharable "I Endorse Regifting" icons; print, stamp or stencil them onto wrapping paper or gift cards; then, gift away, with the expectation that your recipient may do the same.

Making re-gifting socially acceptable helps extend the shelf life of consumer items before they hit the landfill. But it's not enough to destigmatize previously-owned presents—we need to re-gift smarter, too. To ensure you're gifting used things to people who really want them, consider distributing them through a website like Freecycle or Craigslist, or arranging a clothing swap to help friends pick and choose what fits them best. And for times you've been saddled with a real dud, up-gift it by painting, embroidering or otherwise re-crafting the gift into something even better.

Recently on GOOD
Sign up to receive the best of GOOD delivered to your inbox each and every weekday
Guy tells women over 20 to stop wearing yoga pants and wakes up to a fitting surprise. https://t.co/NjApujXbfz https://t.co/lJyy273eo8
'I Endorse Re-Gifting': Gift Recycling Gets a Green Re-Frame