Ethical Christmas shopping
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Date: 25 November, 2005

Worms
Help change the lives of poor people around the world with Present Aid, Christian Aid's online shop seeling virtual gifts.

 

‘What about a solar panel to charge your iPod?.’


Suzanne Elvidge on ethical Christmas shopping from your mouse mat.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… If you don’t fancy buying a partridge, lets have a look to see what you can buy, shopping ethically and not moving more than your mouse hand! And if these don’t give you enough, have a look at the Lift the Label ethical directory.

Plants and gardens

Without the partridge, there is still the pear tree. Buying garden plants improves your surroundings and helps support wildlife in an increasing urban environment. Consider wildlife gardening:

• books
• courses
• seeds
• plants
• composters
• food for your garden inhabitants

Food

Speaking personally, you can never go wrong buying (me) food, especially chocolate for Christmas, and even better if it’s fairtrade.

Fair trade food websites are all over the place:

• Divine (chocolate of course)
• Traidcraft
• SimplyFair has a huge selection, with gifts from only £6

Pampering

Another way to your dear one’s heart is a bit of pampering, from hand and nail treatments, through gorgeous scented soaps to, well, just about anything pampering you can think of. Alternatively, treat someone to 10% off Body Shop goodies for a year.

Techy stuff

What about a solar panel to charge your iPod? Or a wind-up charger for your mobile phone

Presents that are really for others!

Buying for the person that has everything? Well, get a gift for someone else instead!

• Christian Aid's Present Aid (read more) includes everything from stethoscopes at £7 and cans of worms at £15 through to seed presses at £8000
• Traidcraft Gifts for Life
• Oxfam Unwrapped
• World Vision’s Alternative Gift Catalogue
• Charitable donations through Last-minute.com

Everything else

Not sure what you want but you’ll know it if you see it? Have a look at Tearcraft for gifts, toys, homeware and jewellery; Love That Stuff for handmade jewellery, accessories and household goods;

Still stuck? See what Charlotte Haines Lyon found last year and have a look at Ethical Consumer’s tips. On the other hand, you could just have a Buy Nothing Christmas, or literally buy nothing. Whatever you do, have a wonderful, ethical, alternative Christmas.

 


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