Last minute ethical Christmas presents
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Date: 10 December, 2004
Stuck for what to buy your loved ones and friends this Christmas? Is time running out? Don't worry, Charlotte Haines Lyon has done the work for you and scouted round for the best ethical presents available at the last minute. There are presents for all ages and budgets and are listed with the cheapest first.
Beeswax Candle Making Kit
'This has to go down as the most used present I have been given in a long time.'
Presents for Adults
Neal’s Yard Remedies
If you want to set your loved one’s senses alight then go no further than Neal’s Yard. They provide what is in my mind the ultimate range of bath time goodies. All remedies are simply packaged natural products and are often organic.
You can’t go wrong with the Christmas Cracker gift box for £15 which contains muscle rub, soothing bath oil, foot balm, hand softener and an “unwind blend”.
Why not do something different and give a gift to somebody else in the world. Maybe you could provide a stethoscope for a doctor in Africa or a goat to a family in Bolivia.
Mouse cheese knifes
Tearcraft specialise in gifts that are fairly traded from around the world. These knifes are particularly cute and would suit anybody who has a penchant for an after dinner cheese board.
Subscription to an Independent Radical Magazine
It is important for all of us to understand a bit more about the world. INK is a collective of magazines including the New Internationalist, leftie mag Red Pepper, Ethical Consumer and the Ecologist. The website is a one stop shop for alternative press in the UK and there are some subscription bargains to be had online.
Hemp and Leather Briefcase
This stylish looking case would suit him or her and comes with the guarantee of being environmentally sound as well as supporting the work of Amnesty International.
Case of Fairly Traded Wine
£61.50 upwards for mixed case of 12 bottles
Why not buy a case of fairly traded wine and either give the whole thing to someone you think is worth it or split it up amongst your friends and family. Traidcraft ensure that profits go to community development and poverty relief in South Africa and Chile.
Presents for Kids
Gorgeous wooden version of the classic game using hedgehogs and rabbits chasing each other in a meadow.
Fair Trade One World Music Set
This is a perfect gift for children who do not live in your house. Containing five instruments from around the world including an ocarina, rain stick and pan pipes, it will definitely be a hit with the kids, if not their parents.
Roller Ball Track
Beautifully crafted, sustainably harvested beech construction set which can turned into all kinds of amazing marble runs. Can you make the ball reach its destination and ring the bell?
Aimed at 3- 10 year old engineers.
Presents for all Ages
Green and Blacks Chocolate
Whether you are looking for a single bar as a stocking filler or a more substantial box of chocs, Green and Blacks has the answer. Their products are organic and some are even fair trade – such as the divine Maya bars. Whoever dreamt up the Luxury Cherry Bars deserves a present themselves.
Available from most supermarkets, Oxfam and whole food shops.
Change the World for a Fiver
An absolutely fantastic book that should inspire anybody to try to change the world. Brilliantly designed and witty it should entice even the most pessimistic of people to make people laugh, kill their speed or even plant their own 2012 Christmas tree – 5 Scots pine seeds are provided.
There are 50 actions in all ranging from the profound to the sheer fun. Not a sniff of pious worthiness on a single page.
Beeswax Candle Making Kit
The recipient will have great fun making lovely beeswax candles. At the same time you can feel good knowing that you have boosted the income of the Centre for Alternative Technology!
People Tree Gift Vouchers
Unlike some fair trade clothing you don’t have to leave your style behind when wearing People Tree goods. You can order gift vouchers for this fair trade clothing company over the phone: 0845 450 4595 Great if you don’t know the size or taste of the recipient! They also do some beautiful scarves for the funky women in your life - £16 upwards.
Why not treat someone to a different rhythm whether from Africa, South America or somewhere else other than America or the UK. Eschew the charts and find a new beat that will introduce people literally to a whole new world.
Hand Made Beaded Lizards.
These whacky lizards will look great in any room. Best of all you are helping a fair trade group of workers in Zimbabwe which was started up by 12 year old Matichuke! When he lost both of his parents he wanted to make a living and the business has gone from strength to strength.
Eco Friendly Shortwave Radio
This has to go down as the most used present I have been given in a long time. Not only is it shortwave as well as FM so you can use all over the world, but it is solar powered and can also be wound up. Big enough to be sturdy, small enough to fit in your rucksack.