Last minute presents
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Date: 14 December, 2006

Present Aid cow

You'll get a free ringtone for your mobile phone when you order pigs, ducks or a cow online from Present Aid.


‘You could treat friends or family to broadband with surefish and raise money for Christian Aid at the same time.’


Run out of time, run out of ideas, but still want to keep your gifts green? Suzanne Elvidge has some suggestions.

Rather than just buying a gift, make a gift certificate for your time—think of something you are good at, like babysitting, cooking, cleaning, gardening, or simply company on a a trip to the cinema, and print it out and post it (watch out for the last posting dates [website or printable pdf]). Or make it using your word processor (there's a free one at OpenOffice) and email it.

If you are quick, there's still a bit of time to order online. Order a book on eco-friendly living, like It's Not Easy Being Green by 18 December, or get a quick order in to an ethical website like A Lot of Shopping.

A quicker way of getting your gift is by ordering an email gift certificate (and just think of the miles of wrapping paper you will be saving). Websites with this service include:

It's a lot easier now to get hold of fair trade products—many supermarkets and high street shops now stock these. Make a fair trade or ethical food gift basket and fill it with fair trade coffees, teas and chocolate and other gifts from the, such as Divine chocolate, Clipper teas and Café Direct coffees. You can also get fair trade wines and beers from the Co-op, as part of a collaboration with Traidcraft.

Why not buy a magazine subscription online for an ethical magazine:

Do you have any friends or family who haven't entered the digital age? You could treat them to broadband with surefish and raise money for Christian Aid at the same time.

And finally, does everyone have too much 'stuff'? You could adopt an animal, vegetable or mineral (no, I'm not kidding), or even a wood, or give a virtual gift that provides for someone else, like Christian Aid's PresentAid (deadline for orders Dec. 15).

Or you could buy nothing, an initiative started by Canadian Mennonites to de-commercialize Christmas. But whatever you do, enjoy Christmas, play some Christmas games, and keep an eye on the Advent calendar.

Happy Christmas!


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