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Friday, May 15, 2009

Alternative Gift Registry

If you've ever planned a wedding, baby shower, or other occasion of major gifting, you may have wondered what to do about a registry. It can be a difficult decision, since you want to honor the contributions of important people in your life (and hey, maybe you just enjoy getting presents, too) but on the other hand you don't want your special occasion to cause a lot of environmentally destructive purchases. Even if you decide to go the "no gifts" route, chances are you'll end up receiving some anyway. When a registry is appropriate, it can actually be a great way to make sure that at least the items you get are things you stand behind ethically and know you will enjoy.
So, you're left with the question of what to register. That's where the Center for the New American Dream's Alternative Gift Registry comes in. This internet tool allows you to create a gift registry for any type of special occasion.
There are three basic types of green gifts you can include in this registry. First of all, you can select any product available on the internet and create a link to it. Second, you can link to your favorite charities and request donations in honor of your event. Third, you can ask for personalized or non-material gifts like things made by your guests or donations of time and energy. The great thing about the Alternative Gift Registry is that it brings all this together in one place. Like any online gift registry, you can note the number of each item you would like to receive, and guests can keep track of which gifts have already been spoken for.
Creative Commons image by Flickr user Saquan Stimpson

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