Why Alternative Gifts?
Do you want to plan an event that emphasizes time spent with loved ones and de-emphasizes store-bought gifts? Do you want to give a special gift to someone you love that focuses on the bond you share, rather than something that costs a bundle and may not be what they really want?
We all love giving and receiving gifts; it’s important to our culture and good for the spirit. When the gifts we buy don’t match our values, however, they can distract from, rather than deepen, the meaning behind an event, despite the best intentions of those involved. The cost to gift-givers—not to mention the environmental impacts—also adds up quickly.
Fortunately, for many brides, grooms, parents-to-be, and other gift recipients, less truly is more. By encouraging non-material, second-hand, homemade, and environmentally friendly gifts, we seek to continue the proud tradition of gift-giving while helping celebrants focus on what matters most: a joyous commemoration with loved ones that honors the important moments in their lives.
Creating a registry and choosing a gift, of course, is highly personal. We have offered a number of green suggestions, but celebrants can fill in their own ideas and link to products outside this site to offer the widest and most meaningful gift selection possible.
The Impact of All Those Gifts
With an estimated 2.5 million weddings in the United States each year and an average of 175 guests invited to each celebration, the stuff associated with weddings quickly adds up
- According to The Knot, one of the largest wedding planning resources in the world, $19 billion is spent buying gifts from wedding registries each year.
- Many traditional gifts that were once meant to help a couple set up a home no longer apply, with so many couples getting married or remarried later in life.
It isn’t just weddings, of course. Approximately four million babies are born in the United States each year, and thousands more are adopted.
- According to a 2006 article on CNN Money, the average new parents spend $6,200 buying their first year’s worth of baby products, including furniture, car seats, clothing, and toys. That’s a huge chunk of change for items that will generally be used for less than two years.
- According to a 2005 poll by Redbook, 87 percent of expectant parents “anticipate that baby expenses will increase their stress level.” — Is it any wonder?
New American Dream wants to help relieve some of the stress that weddings, new babies, and other big occasions can cause, helping to keep the focus on the joy of the celebration.
Our registry options encourage and legitimize asking for help from friends, sharing time together, reusing second-hand items, and giving environmentally sound presents as tasteful, thoughtful options.
The user also has the freedom to add personalized requests and links to desired products. We want the registry you create to have a tangible and meaningful effect on your life and well as the planet!