How to practice ethical gift giving this holiday season
14 December 2020
Ethical gift giving is just as much about what we do buy as it is about what we don’t buy. Moving away from defaulting to purchasing fast fashion items, new electronics to replace perfectly functioning ones, or flimsy plastic toys is just as important as the shift towards what we will be replacing those with. The idea of giving ethically sourced, sustainably made, or just simply ‘useful’ gifts has exploded in recent years. Even large corporations are taking note, and it’s quite easy these days to identify products marked as fair trade, or locally-sourced.
Not sure which companies to support? Keep an eye out for companies that are B Corps! All B Corps are certified as companies who are doing good for the world, so you can feel confident in knowing that your purchase is doing good.
This Christmas, change your mindset and think about what gift you can give that will make a positive impact far beyond the impact for the gift receiver. For more ideas, read on:
1. Sustainable products
Stuck for what to buy for the young and the young at heart? Next time you go to buy a toy, cast your eyes towards the plethora of toys made out of wood or other biodegradable materials rather than plastic. Whilst the toy you buy may be well loved for years, when it eventually makes its way to a landfill, biodegradable materials are far less harmful for the earth.
2. Make your own
A home-made gift just radiates the love and thought that went into it. A favourite of mine is home-made jams or pickles. They’re far easier to make than you might think, are thoughtful and delicious!
This idea takes some creativity and forward thinking. But, before throwing out that antiquated bookshelf, empty wine bottle, or old magazine, have a think about what more could be done to extend their life. From as complex as creating a custom lamp from an empty wine bottle, to as simple as refurbishing an old bookshelf to breathe life back into it.
Everyone loves some greenery to brighten up their space! And, you’ll always be able to find a plant that fits within your budget, whatever that may be. If you’re stuck for ideas, why not purchase a native plant to help out our wildlife.
5. Buy basics
Let your nan know that if she’s wanting to buy you a new toothpaste and socks, then make it a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush and socks made from eco-friendly materials. A keep cup is another practical gift, helping to reduce waste; and they can be quite stylish!
6. Gift experiences
An experience is always a great gift to give, and even better when you’re supporting a local business. You’ll be surprised at the range of experiences that are available these days; everything from gelato appreciation classes, to cooking classes, brewery tours and much more.
7. Keep it local
A voucher for a local restaurant or shop is a fantastic way to support local businesses, and to try out new places in your area.
8. Buy second-hand
You can find some real gems in second-hand stores for a sweet price, even sweeter knowing that you’re reducing the amount of waste in this world, saving what you’re buying from going to landfill. As a bonus, the profits from second-hand stores often support charitable organizations.