Gifts! Who doesn’t like them, right? Although presents are a great way to show appreciation to a loved one, co-worker or friend, oftentimes the environmental impact of simply buying more stuff is overlooked. And given the fact that most of the gifts people receive for their birthdays, holidays or special occasions are things they don’t really need, there’s a big opportunity to do gifting better
Although the sun is shining outside and no one wants to think of winter just yet, let's look ahead to one of the most known holidays of all: Christmas. Each year at least 2.4 billion annually celebrate Christmas at home and in the workplace. The classic Christmas package is one of the most popular ways to celebrate ol’ Father Christmas in the office space, but it often contains things people don’t really need or want. Specifically, £42 million worth of Christmas gifts are unwanted and thrown away each year in the UK alone. The results are evidenced by the conclusion of a UK-based waste company, suggesting that more than 100 million bags of rubbish are sent to landfill each Christmas - that’s 30% more than the rest of the year!
Some employers offer the possibility to forego the package and instead make a donation to a charity of their choice. But although this option is increasing in popularity, the vast majority of employees do not yet select this option. One of our recent customer interviews enlightens us as to why that is. A young, Amsterdam-based professional told us the following; ‘When deciding to give to charity it feels like the gift just sort of disappears.. You never hear anything back or see any results. So I just default back to the standard option and get a package with a bunch of snacks and drinks delivered to my home. It’s not great but at least it feels more like a gift’
Those colleagues charged with arranging the Christmas gifts, whether it’s the office manager, the founder or just whoever is taking the turn that year, always struggle to find the right balance between a gift that is personal, appreciated and sustainable without losing too much time finding it.
Digital gift cards geared towards sustainability or charities provide a great solution. In one order, you can send short, personalised notes to each of your employees to wish them happy holidays or congratulate them on their special day. The recipient can then decide which project or charity to support, providing them with a meaningful choice and interaction moment. Lastly it’s important to provide the employees with feedback and proof of the results that were achieved with their contributions, to provide a truly attractive and meaningful alternative to the default package. Whether it’s planting a tree, taking plastic out of the ocean or helping a farmer restore a bit of nature in an arid piece of land, your gift can empower others to make a tangible difference for our planet.
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