‘Gift Outside the Box’ Campaign Encouraging Greener Gifting 

Industry Observer with Retired

‘Gift Outside the Box’ Campaign Encouraging Greener Gifting 


The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has launched its annual Gift Outside the Box campaign and encouraging people to “gift-greener” this holiday season. Ceremonies in Rockville starting the campaign this week included County Executive Marc Elrich.

The annual Gift Outside the Box campaign brings together County agencies and community organizations to promote environmentally friendly gift-giving. The holiday campaign will focus on five areas:

  • Buy Local: Support County and State businesses by purchasing locally made products. Look for the “MoCo Made” label at Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) or other retail stores.
  • Gift Experiences: No need for a box when the gift features event tickets, Montgomery Recreation classes, music lessons, and time to be spent in nature or at parks.
  • Gift Greener: If purchasing new items, make sure that they encourage green living and, when possible, help people lower their utility bills. Consider LED lightbulbs, smart thermostats and reusable materials such as water bottles, metal straws and cloth napkins.
  • Give Back: Appreciated gifts include donations to local charities in the name of a family member or friend. Consider setting aside time to spend with friends and family by volunteering together.
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Reduce waste by buying gifts made from recycled or reused materials, regift items not used from last year and recycle the paper (minimize wrapping by using reusable gift bags and cloth).

“Each year the ‘Gift Outside the Box’ campaign reminds us to find ‘greener’ ways to celebrate the holidays—this includes shopping local,” said County Executive Elrich. “When we shop local and purchase gifts made locally, we’re investing in our communities, improving our local economy and helping our environment by using less fuel. I want to encourage everyone to think about supporting our local small businesses during this gift-giving season and all year long. Together, we can reduce waste, save energy and build a strong local economy.”

DEP Acting Director Adriana Hochberg said the Gift Outside the Box campaign follows the County’s year-round campaign to reduce waste and help the environment.

“As people begin the gift-giving of the holiday season, we hope everyone will consider ‘greener’ ways to show love and friendship to friends and family and love for our planet,” said Ms. Hochberg. “DEP and our partners are challenging all of us to reduce waste by thinking differently about how we shop for and give gifts. Every action we take, whether it is shopping at thrift stores, or buying from local small businesses—every little bit adds up and makes a difference.”

DEP staff will be handing out free reusable bags and offering lightbulb exchanges at the following events:

  • Saturdays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Noon-5 p.m. Wheaton Holiday Market. Marian Fryer Town Plaza, 2424 Reedie Dr., Wheaton.
  • Saturday, Dec. 3. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Westfield Wheaton. 11160 Veirs Mill Rd., Wheaton.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, household waste in the U.S. increases an average of 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Wrapping paper, decorations, packaging and leftover food (and sometimes even gifts) often do not last long and end up in the waste stream.

More information about the most sustainable ways to give for the holidays is available at the Gift Outside the Box website at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dep/gift-greener.html.

This is a Montgomery County, Maryland announcement.


Kentlands Photowalk, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA IMG 6897
Canon PowerShot G11 Camera
Photograph by Roy Kelley
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Posted by

Roy Kelley, Retired, Former Associate Broker, RE/MAX Realty Group

Gaithersburg, Maryland  

Comments (13)

Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Roy. Simple common sense approach to green. Why not? Enjoy your day.

Nov 25, 2022 04:51 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

These are good ideas any time of the year!

Enjoy your day!

Nov 25, 2022 04:57 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

What a wonderful idea and program.  Here's to it be a fun exciting adventure. Bill 

Nov 25, 2022 05:13 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Roy - smart shopping often includes some out-of-the-box thinking. 

Nov 25, 2022 05:51 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Another nice campaign that Montgomery County is participating in again this year Roy!

Nov 25, 2022 06:52 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

There are all manner of ways to give during the Holidays and these are very creative alternatives to that specially wrapped gift

Nov 25, 2022 07:49 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Roy and hope that you had lots of leftovers for today, have turkey soup for tonight with friends.

Nov 25, 2022 08:50 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Roy - it's so much waste in wrapping paper and boxes each year.

Nov 25, 2022 10:20 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I like those ideas of greener gifting, Roy.  As much as I can, I'm trying to buy local this year.

Nov 27, 2022 05:53 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for your comments. It is always good to hear from you.

Nov 28, 2022 06:24 AM