Gift Giving To Reduce Rubbish Clearance


Let’s explore the relationship between gifts and rubbish clearance.

Exchanging gifts are part of the formal fabric of our human relationships. When the leaders of foreign governments meet, they often exchange gifts as a part of the ceremonial effort to get things off on a good track. We learn this gift giving process when we are small children, when we’re first told it’s the social norm to take a gift when invited to a birthday party.

While this whole gift giving concept is a “feel good” activity, and it tends to reinforce our positive relationships with other people, the practice of gift giving also harms our environment in a couple of significant ways. First, there’s the packaging that ends up in the rubbish clearance bin almost immediately. Second, many gifts are simply not wanted and they too end up as waste removal in the rubbish clearance bin, only after the gift giver is out of sight.

What if there were a way to continue exchanging gifts but to do so in a way that does not harm the environment?

There is!

And… you may just start an improved gift giving practice that will spread far and wide.

Now, you could just start making a point of giving gifts that lack packaging, or where the packaging is a reusable item. For example, if you are giving someone a piece of jewelry as a gift, you could wrap it in a nice reusable handkerchief. However, if you’re giving costume jewelry, the recipient may end up binning the actual gift at a date not so distant in the future, when it breaks or otherwise. The likelihood of this goes up even higher if you’re giving a home decoration or a piece of clothing.

So, how can you ensure that neither the packaging nor the gift you give get put into rubbish clearance?

Why not make it a practice to give only gifts that are non-tangible. There are all kinds of gifts you can give that are not something that could possibly be binned and contain zero packaging. Here are a few examples:

Garden Work

If you have good physical strength and you’re limber, you may want to offer garden work to a person who may be less able to perform these duties. For example, perhaps you have an older friend who can no longer safely climb a ladder to pick the apples off their apple tree. For their birthday gift, tell them you’re going to harvest their apples and make them an apple birthday cake! Isn’t this better than buying some useless item from the sales isle at the department store that will likely end up in rubbish clearance?

Mending or Altering Clothes

If you have any special skills, such as sewing, you can offer these skills as gifts. In the case of sewing, you’ll also potentially be saving old clothes from being binned! Perhaps you can patch up an old favorite comfortable sweater in a creative and stylish way and save it from the rubbish clearance bin.


Here’s another special skill that you could offer in the form of a gift. Perhaps instead of a Mother’s Day gift bought from the store, suppose you salvage wood from a remodel job and build your mom a custom made organizer. Perhaps you could also take some of that same salvaged wood and build a handrail for a person who is beginning to lose their balance a bit.

Reading, Listening, and Hand Holding

There are many programs for seniors at nursing homes that involve taking gifts to them. While the attention is probably well appreciated, there’s still the issue of all that packaging going into the rubbish clearance and the gift itself likely making its way to the landfill too. What if you instead give the gift of time and heart. Give of yourself and listen to their stories, read to them, and maybe even hold their hand to comfort them. These are far more meaningful gifts and they could never be put in rubbish clearance.

Give a Beebag From Clearabee

Clearabee is a rubbish clearance company in the UK that upcycles, reuses, or recycles about ninety percent of the rubbish they collect. One service they offer is a beebag service. These are basically a portable skip that come in different sizes. Clearabee sends them via the post. You fill them up with rubbish and then schedule a pick up at your convenience. You don’t even have to move the beebag to the street. For example, you could open the beebag in the garage, fill it there, and then have the Clearabee workers pick up the full beebag directly from the garage. Clearabee’s beebag service is a wonderful gift that could never be put in the rubbish clearance and very likely will save many items from this fate as well.

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