Did you know that till slips are not recyclable? This is just one small part of how returning gifts can impact the environment. We will be sharing some more reasons why choosing the correct gift the first time round for someone is important in ensuring that you are protecting the environment or at least, lowering the pressure on our natural resources.
We at No Bad Surprises believe in protecting our environment for generations to come. It is our collective responsibility in ensuring that we lessen the burden that us humans place on the environment. Buying the perfect gift, the first time, will help with this.
The wrapping paper or gift bag chosen for the gift is normally sourced from paper, plastic, and fabric as primary feedstock. Inks, dyes, and pigments are added at a later stage, all with supporting industries which impact our environment. Consider the end of life of a piece of wrapping paper – if it is not recycled, it can end up on a landfill site and remain there for many years. All the above would be in vain if the gift itself was indeed unwanted. This would require the gift to be passed on or returned (without you knowing of course), meaning that the wrapping paper was of no use in any case.
Now consider the trip to the shops if you have decided to return the product. This means the trip by the person who gave you the gift was futile and the trip you are taking will also most likely have an impact on the environment if you are using a vehicle.
Even worse, if the gift was initially purchased online, it would have been delivered from a warehouse or store far from its destination. This usually involves many steps during the courier process as well as an excessive amount of packaging in the form of bubble wrap, corrugate board and sealing tape. Taking this a step further back in the value-chain, the gift may have been manufactured in another part of the world and the environmental impacts of packaging, transportation and manufacturing to the environment are now all futile. If the gift can be passed on to someone else, then it is a better option, however this is always a risk and not something the gift-giver was planning when giving the gift to you.
Worst of all, as much as 50% of the gifts returned in the USA are not resold according to Optoro, a company that aids retailers with streamlining their returns processes, as they may get damaged during transit, be out of season or no longer stocked in that specific store.
Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke
Do not despair, there is a lot you can do to help! When buying a gift, do not buy multiple options with the assumption that some of the purchased items may be returned. Secondly, if you are going to return something, do it right away! This will ensure that the item can likely be resold and not end up on a pile of unwanted goods or even worse, on a landfill site.
The easiest way to ensure that you do not buy a gift that will be returned is to use No Bad Surprises! Knowing exactly what someone wants will ensure that that person receives the perfect gift and not something which may end up in storage or be returned. We have used No Bad Surprises to buy gifts for some of our closest friends and family members, and to this day, they still tell us how great it is that they received something they wanted, rather than something that someone thought they wanted. Here’s to protecting the environment and happy gifting from your team at No Bad Surprises!