Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What Not to Buy For The Holidays

Actually, this post is not really going to be about rampant consumerism. I'm not going to suggest you pare down your list, or avoid plastic toys. I am not going to wax poetic about the joys of thrift shopping, or suggest you buy people experiences instead of things. I'm not going to plug Etsy or encourage everyone to take up knitting. After all, I've written those posts, you've written those posts, and frankly, today I'm just not feeling it. Instead, I'm going to talk about bad eco gifts.

Bad eco gifts? Is there such a thing, you may ask? Yes, as much as it pains me to admit it, there are.

Such as?

Diva cups. Don't buy your 15 year old niece one for Christmas. She won't appreciate it. Really. Please. Don't do it. And DON'T EVEN THINK about buying a used one!

CFL light bulbs. This is the gift that keeps on boring. Let's think a little more creative, shall we?

And also, no reusable grocery bags, please. Once upon a time, you could maybe get away with getting people a cool reusable bag. But at this point most people have reusable bags coming out of their ears. Stay away.

Carbon offsets. Buying offsets for yourself are a way to perhaps ease some guilt. Buying them for someone else is just reminding them of their eco-sinner ways. Stick to donating to an environmental non-profit in their name.

Baking soda. Yes, you can do a million things with it. But it also costs less than a dollar. And everyone has a box in the fridge.

Anyone else have some bad idea holiday gifts? Or alternatively, think I'm wrong about my bad idea gifts? Let me know!


Farmer's Daughter said...

I like to wrap presents in a reusable bag... I think if there's something in it it's okay.

And here I was all excited that I found dimmable CFL's and was going to give them to my hubby for Christmas!!!

Bad eco-gifts to me are the stuff you didn't need in the first place, but you get just cause they're eco.

Anonymous said...

Lisa from Condo Blues has a few other Eco Gifts To Avoid:


I really want an iPhone. I really, really, really want one. I am not going to ask for one. And I am not going to buy one. But if I received a magic genie lamp and could ask for anything right now, I swear it would be an iPhone. Without the environmental impact of an iPhone, of course.

Chile said...

You mean I can't give a gallon of vinegar and a 4 lb bag of baking soda as a gift pack? Darn you!

How about homemade/homegrown luffa sponges? Is that too passe?

Cath@VWXYNot? said...


I want to get my husband a bike (whether he wants one or not), is that acceptable?!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Dang. I was going to spring a DivaCup on my 14 y.o. niece when I'm visiting her for Christmas. Oh well.

And, Chile - I'd love a luffa. But, I'm probably not the best model for gift giving out there :)

ruchi said...

Abbie, well you know your husband better than I do! So, if he'll like it, then go for it. ;)

Beth, sigh, and here I was thinking I was original. Ah well.

Chile, sponges I think are okay. But no, no vinegar.

Cath, bikes are acceptable as gifts. While you're giving them out, want to give me one? ;)

Crunchy, ummm ... well, you know your niece. If she asked Santa for a diva cup, I'm not going to get in the way. ;)

Jer said...

My aunt once gave me a string of christmas lights for christmas. Non-LED christmas lights. To this day I have no idea why.

Oh, and re: that Condo-blues list. I'm totally putting a wooden trebuchet on my wishlist. But I'm also putting the sock-tupus on my wishlist as well. Because it is awesome.

Chile said...

Um, Ruchi? I already gave some vinegar as early Christmas gifts. Hope it's okay...it was my homemade Asian pear vinegar. ;-)

Rosa said...

Chile, i would love luffa sponges as a gift! I keep trying to grow them and our growing season is just too short.

ruchi said...

Jer, that is bizarre. Especially if you got the Christmas lights at Christmas, then you couldn't use them until the next year, no?

Chile, well, in that case, I think you're okay. ;)