Traditional Gift Giving vs Conscious Gift Giving

As humans, we have been giving each other gifts for hundreds of years, whether this for special occasions or, sometimes, for no reason at all. By giving a gift to another person, you are showing them that you love and/or appreciate them.

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Today though, there has been a shift in the way we present gifts to each other. While many of us still give our gifts in the traditional way, others are making the switch to more ethically conscious gifts in the hope of minimizing the impact on the environment. In this article, we will have a look at the differences between traditional and conscious gift giving in terms of the benefits and the impact that they can have on the environment.

What is Traditional Gift Giving?

Traditional gift giving is what we all know and what most of us have been brought up with. It involves thinking about what the recipient likes and buying something based on that. For example, if a man is buying a gift for his wife for her birthday, he might know that she loves jewelry so he will head to the nearest jewelry store to pick out a pair of diamond earrings that he knows she will be delighted to receive.

The benefits of traditional gift giving is that it can be easy to source a gift that the receiver will love. Finding the perfect present for a loved one can make their day and lead to a sense of happiness. However, with traditional gift giving often comes a harsh effect on the environment. For example, that pair of earrings the man bought for his wife might not have contained ethically sourced diamonds.

Diamonds mined in countries such as Zimbabwe, Angola, or the Democratic Republic of Congo are not responsibly sourced, with the countries having a history of human rights violations.

What is Conscious Gift Giving?

Conscious gift giving is a little bit different in that the person giving the gift will take the time to find something that will have a positive impact on the environment while also being something that the recipient will love. Take the man above, buying a gift for his wife’s birthday. Instead of buying that diamond pair of earrings, he might instead buy her a some bee jewelry from a company like Project Honey Bees. Each purchase equals a queen bee adoption, with money going towards research into bee conservation.

Sometimes, conscious gift giving does not even involve a physical item. It might be a donation to a charity such as a disaster relief fund or a wildlife conservation that helps to protect endangered species.

The benefits of conscious gift giving is that you know you are being ethically responsible and your gift is having a minimal impact on the environment. Choosing sustainable gifts means less waste and less harm on the planet.

However, for many of us conscious gift giving is just not as straightforward and easy as traditional gift giving. It can be hard to find a gift that a loved one will appreciate. Furthermore, buying consciously can often end up being much more expensive than traditional gift giving.


When it comes to giving gifts, you have two choices. You can continue with traditional gift giving like you always have, or you can start to become a bit more ethically conscious about the items you give to loved ones. If you have a budget to stick to then maybe give the gift of time instead of buying an actual physical item. That way, you will be eliminating waste and you won’t end up spending more than you can afford.

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