Green Gift Etiquette

April 10, 2009

I had heard of a distinction between a gift and a present before but couldn’t remember it exactly.  A quick Google search and there it was on overachievercoach.blogspot.com:

A present is something that you want the recipient to have. A gift is something that the recipient would want.

So where’s the green issue?   Because I have strong feelings about environmental and social issues, when I’m looking for something to give a friend I may find mself leaning toward presents rather than gifts.  And this gives me pause.  For instance, the other day I nearly bought a book for a young friend on ways for children to save the planet.  Now, I know her parents are not in favor of planetary destruction, but I don’t know that we share the same environmental beliefs and priorities.  This would have been a present for the girl, not a gift.

The gift/present problem occurs when I’m rushed.  When I take the time to think about what I want to give I find that  I generally aim for a combination of the gift/present.  If a gift is something a giver wants the recipient to have and a present is something the recipient would want, then I want to give something I would like the recipient to have and the recipient would want, a prift.   

Because of my various memberships and past purchases I am now on a number of (i.e. too many) mailing lists.  But sometimes there is a gem among the unsolicited catalogs.  Just such a gem is published by SERRV.  SERRV is a SERRV Catalog nonprofit organization that works with low income and marginalized artisans and farmers in developing countries.  The items in their catalog and website are beautiful and reasonably priced (I am also frugal).  A prift catalog.

Of course this is one of countless sources for prifts (including my own two hands).  And in the end giving green is the same as any other giving – if it is something that I want to give and the person would want to receive than it is perfect.


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