What would you prefer? A conventional gift or a charitable donation given in your name this Christmas?
According to new research by one of my clients, the Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA), more than one in five Brits (21.5%) would prefer a charitable donation. In the run-up to Christmas, the GVCA surveyed 1,000 consumers who celebrate Christmas in order to determine how gifting habits are changing over time. When asked what else they would be happy to receive instead of a traditional Christmas gift, gift cards emerged as a popular alternative, being chosen by 44% of Brits.
40% said they would prefer to receive “experiences”, such as nights out or skydiving trips, rather than traditional gifts, and 36% said they would like to choose their own gift, as opposed to a present that was picked out for them.
The research also found that a fifth of people would want a donation to be made to charity on their behalf, instead of receiving a physical gift, showing that attitudes towards gifting are changing in line with our sustainability values.
Is the rise of alternative gifting a response to the huge amount of waste produced from unwanted Christmas gifts? According to the survey, Brits receive an average of TWO unwanted gifts each Christmas, equating to a total of 119,584,080 across the UK. And nearly 23 million of these gifts will be sent straight to landfill! Not good enough!
We also use nearly three rolls of wrapping paper on average and most of that isn’t recyclable.
If, like me, you’re out shopping this weekend for last-minute Christmas gifts, think about getting a gift card. They can get something they really want or enjoy a new experience. Gift cards are either digital or increasingly being made of sustainable materials these days.
Happy gifting – and have a wonderful, festive Christmas break!
More on what the GCVA does to support the gift card industry and its sustainability pledge at www.ukgcva.co.uk.
Photo: Virgin Experience Days