Ways to reduce over-consumption


Sydney Thomas-Arnold

Examples of second hand gifts at local antique shop

Sydney Thomas-Arnold, Feature Editor

With the holiday season underway, it’s good to be mindful when shopping. From actually buying gifts down to the paper they’re wrapped in, overconsumption is a prominent aspect of this season, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some changes and solutions to implement throughout the holidays in order to save, re-purpose, and help with the issue of over-consumption.

1. Buy second hand 

Second-hand shops offer unique and often less expensive gifts of a wide variety. Stores like Goodwill sell used toys, books, clothes, and more, in good condition. Around the holidays, these stores also sell donated festive decorations, wrapping paper, and gift boxes, most of which are unopened and in brand-new condition. By shopping second-hand, these things are re-purposed and money is saved.

2. Alternative gifts

Instead of buying presents just for the sake of giving something, try gifting thoughtfully. Often presents are as expensive and wasteful as they are temporary, or they just go unused. An alternative to buying brand new gifts is to make them; handmade items like jewelry, baked goods, knitted/crochet wear, and so much more are thoughtful options. By making intentional gifts instead of buying unnecessary new things, gift-giving becomes more personal while also cutting down on consumerism.

3. Wrapping consciously

Normal wrapping paper is only used once, then thrown away; this contributes to plastic waste and is simply not worth the money when there are better options. To create a unique and sustainable gift presentation, try using things that are already around, such as newspapers, paper grocery bags, fabric, and reusable boxes. Instead of tape, another option is to use cotton string to tie up gifts. These and more are options that make gift-giving more conscious, and less consumer-focused.