Green Nonprofit Tip: Holidays at the Office

Nonprofit Holiday PresentsWhether you are bringing one gift for a secret exchange or gifts for all the support staff here are five easy tips to make your gift exchange a bit “greener.”

  1. Recycled giftwrap – I have used everything from comics to an old silk scarf as gift wrap.  A nice ribbon (recycled is best) can then make it fancier, sillier, or simpler.  A simple search online will give you plenty of ideas.
  2. Suggest a book exchange this year.  Most of the world is feeling financially tight but taking the cost away from gift giving doesn’t eliminate the fun.  Most of us have books that we would love to share.  Everyone brings a book, then draws a number to create order. Exchanging afterwards only adds to the fun.
  3. White elephants often result in half the people getting useful pieces and half getting bizarre items they will bring to Goodwill.  But so what?  Did you really expect your best gift to come from your office-mate?
  4. Instead of creating a promotional piece with a note, consider a note with a donation to a favorite nonprofit.  A thoughtful explanation will make you just as memorable, may encourage the recipient to become a donor and much more environmentally sensitive.
  5. Consider choosing a shelter or nonprofit wish list for your office to fulfill instead of buying each other gifts this year.  People can either purchase an item from the list or write a check for any amount that they feel they can afford and know that it will be gratefully received.  Much more so than any gift you could give inter-office.

Happy Holidays.  I hope they are festive, fun and green.