Past meetings‎ > ‎2012‎ > ‎

2012/10 - Ethical Christmas

Here are a few suggestions that we came up with of ways to celebrate a 'more ethical' Christmas - if you have more ideas, why not post them on our Facebook page or send them in by email.

Christmas trees - real or fake? A new fake Christmas tree is a bad idea, but if you already have one, then get on and use it. Heely City Farm have a unique 'rent a Christmas tree' scheme, whereby you can rent a living tree over the Christmas period and then return it, so it can continue to grow on in the New Year.

What to give - have you considered giving charity gifts (whereby someone in need gets the gift and your friend / family member gets a card / certificate)? - Oxfam Unwrapped, Send a Cow, Good Gifts and Present Aid are all examples of this (there are many more!).
Why not buy Fair Trade or ethically-sourced items such as from Traidcraft, Tear Fund or Amnesty Shop?
Reduce the amount of new things being made, by buying gifts from a charity shop, or by recycling items to make new gifts.
Buy a magazine subscription?
Put together some sort of 'event' or social gathering for someone - maybe give them a home made 'voucher' for that event?

How to wrap gifts - reuse some of last year's wrapping paper? Buy (or make!) some gift bags and encourage people to re-use them next year?

What to do about all the packaging or unwanted items - maybe take a look at My Zero Waste or Waste Watch to see how to reduce and dispose of unwanted stuff, or see how you could reuse things on Recycle This.

Where to buy food - consider alternatives to the big supermarket chains: buy meat from the local butcher or vegetables from the local (organic?) vegetables from a small greengrocers. Maybe look into the box deliveries from Beanies Wholefoods (or another organic box supplier). If you are going to shop at a supermarket - maybe consider looking at Ethical Consumer before you decide which one to go to.

Pre-Christmas event - would you be interested in helping to organise a pre-Christmas event, which could include:
  • Bringing unwanted (but good quality) items, that others could take and give as gifts (in return for a small charity donation?)
  • A selection of charity gift / ethically-sourced item catalogues to browse through and compare
  • Cakes baked with fair-trade ingredients, including copies of the recipes to take away, so you can make them yourself
  • Sessions teaching how to make gifts by recycling old items (plastic bottles, fabric scraps, etc.)