Green up your Giftcard Options!


With COP26 still occupying our eco-consciousness, and the dawn of a new year (happy 2022!) now is a great time to assess our personal eco impact.

And a huge part of our eco-choices come from what we buy. The choices we make matter – and now, people are even more aware that we can choose products from makers that have planet-friendly practices.

Our spending choices matter!

Conversely – when the only choice we are holding is a giftcard to a specific retailer, then suddenly our voice can be muted.The power of our pound is diluted, as we might easily end up buying the option that is less-green, less-ethical… just plain less desirable.

For example, here’s Jules: “I wanted new trainers, and my family had clubbed together and given me a £180 on a giftcard to treat myself. Of course I was excited, because I’ve promised myself to make greener choices, so I was happy to spend more on something that would be higher quality, fair trade, all the good stuff.

“But this particular retailer, didn’t have many eco-options available. I wanted to avoid leather, I wanted to be mindful of air miles, and I wanted some promise that the product was fairly traded, not made in sweat-shops. But sadly, none of these were an option at this store.

“I really believe that money talks more than anything else, it’s important to me to make my voice heard this way. And although my brilliant family had given me such a great gift, I still felt really sad about the situation, as I was denied the opportunity to put my gift to even better outcomes for the planet”.

Mindless buying is easy – ethical buying takes effort.

We all know how easy (and enjoyable) it is to buy something we desire.It’s not called “retail therapy” for no reason. So if we are going to have any effect by employing our green ethics, we need to put some effort into this thing.
The problem is, very few retailers or manufacturers sell 100% sustainable, green or ethical items, so we now need to be shopping around to get what we want and need.

And that means that a gift-card can curtail our eco-drive!

Because a giftcard is just so easy. And before we know it, our shopping bag is full of a mish-mash of eco and non-eco, and our protest voice, like Jules, is muted.

"Unconscious buying, or mindless buying means we aren’t making choices, we’re just shopping on a whin,"

Make your giftcard greener!

We’re not going to lie – this is going to take a little effort, but the bottom line is, it makes a difference. So here’s how to eco-up, when the giftcard looks like it may do the opposite.

1) Don’t waste the giftcard #1. - Spend the giftcard.

Yes – spend it! But note how you spend it.Pre-shop at the retailers, check out the eco-credibility of products, and pick and choose what you’ll buy.Go for green (even if it isn’t the most convenient option).A few examples;Go vegan or veggie if you get an eating out gift-card.Buy sustainably made clothes if it’s a fashion card.Buy fair-trade if it’s a supermarket card.

2) Don’t waste the giftcard #2. - Use it to support a local charity

If you’re involved in a local charity or community organisation, then see if anyone there needs something.You could buy (fair-trade, eco-produce) and use it for your community raffle, or prizes.

Cardyard has a sale option where you can send your giftcard cash to, that supports local community charities and not-for-profit organisations (often the sorts of local organisations that have really low carbon footprints, because their volunteers work from home, and they can’t even afford a website)

3) Buy the giftcard first - to get the eco-product for less.

Nobody said eco MUST be more expensive.Although it often is.Here’s a way to cut the cost of eco down, by trading giftcards. (For example you could offset a 10% additional cost in fair-trade coffee, by using a giftcard that cost you 10% less!).

Three steps:

  • Choose what you want to buy and which retailer.
  • Search the Cardyard site to buy the right giftcard
  • Spend the giftcard to save cash.

4) Cash-in the giftcard and buy local

There’s a lot of research that shows it’s likely that your local shops will offer the most eco-friendly options.So go local to be more eco. Yes, of course Gary’s Greengrocers don’t take Sainsburys giftcards, but you can pre-sell your giftcard on Cardyard and hop down to Gary’s with the cash!

Greening Your Giftcard Summary:

Spending power can help with a greener world, and individual spending power matters.

We can ALL be influences.Remember the choices we make all get turned into balance sheets, and board directors are more attuned to the sounds of their tills ringing* than the moans and groans from any number of focus groups.

Giftcards can be useful to support green choices!It just takes a little planning.

Giftcards can also be useful to make green choices more affordable. (Pre-buy a gift card)

(*OK, the distant hum of bank servers processing their profits)

3rd of January, 2022More blog posts