Lewis Hyde has made extensive studies of gift economies. He finds that "objects will remain plentiful because they are treated as gifts." A gift relationship with nature is a "formal give-and-take that acknowledges our participation in, and dependence upon, natural increase. We tend to respond to nature as a part of ourselves, not a stranger or alien available for exploitation. Gift exchange is the commerce of choice, for it is commerce that harmonizes with, or participates in, the process of [nature's] increase." Giving as a gift ensures that more is returned to the environment of the giver.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
from Robin Wall Kimmerer 📕