Regifting prioritizes environment, wallet


Hansika Gautama

With the holiday season coming up, a previously received gift is given to someone else on Nov. 29 who would cherish the gift more.

Hansika Gautama, Staff Writer

Instead of shoving that sweater you got from your distant relative that doesn’t suit your style to the bottom of your dresser, regifting it to someone who would appreciate it serves a greater purpose. Some say it is impolite, but if an item is of no value to the recipient, it is appropriate to give it to someone who would enjoy it. 

According to the National Retail Federation, the average American spent a whopping $629 on Christmas gifts from 2016 through 2019. The huge amount of money spent can contribute to other necessities, so utilizing those unopened gifts at home will cut down on splurging for extra presents during the holiday season. 

Regifting eases the strain the holiday season has on bank accounts, but it impacts the environment as well. According to Wishslate, Americans discard about $16 billion worth of undesired Christmas gifts each year. Most of these gifts end up in landfills or oceans, which only contributes to the escalating amount of trash and pollution. 

Children’s toys – a major category in holiday shopping – are 90% plastic, according to PlasticleMag. These toys have a low longevity, and aren’t as sustainable, especially since children have numerous toy fads, which they get bored of easily. As children quickly lose interest in their old toys, most toys will end up broken, donated or thrown away. The cheap plastic that is used to make these toys will never completely decompose and will remain intact or broken down into smaller pieces forever, according to HealthyHuman

Repurposing gifts allows the items to enjoy a new life. However, it includes certain rules and proper etiquette in order to avoid hurt feelings and the original gift giver finding out.
Regifting should occur within a certain time limit, preferably six months to a year because if the gift gets old, it wouldn’t fit current trends. People should also regift in moderation since saving money shouldn’t be the only thing in mind when gift giving. A cheap and useless gift will benefit no one, especially if that person wouldn’t enjoy it. Also, the gift should look new so all traces like the previous gift wrap or tag should be removed. If the gift is a family heirloom, regifting it would be rude so it is better to just keep it. 

Based on these rules, a person can decide if their gift would be an item worth giving. So the next time you find a gift in your closet that you think your best friend will love, give it to them, and enjoy the glory of a win-win situation.