Would you like to make your Christmas more ethical? There are great resources in Ethical Consumer Magazine’s Christmas Guide. Find out about the best alternatives to Amazon for online shopping, the most ethical High Street shops, low impact presents, alternative gift ideas, having a plastic-free Christmas, avoiding palm oil, and vegan Christmas food!
My own approach is to try to give and receive as few presents as possible. Almost 20 years ago I announced to my extended family that I was giving up Christmas presents – after years of being disheartened by buying my many relatives things they didn’t want or need, and receiving presents that I didn’t want or need. Such a waste. It was one of the best things I ever did. Now I can enjoy the good things about Christmas – companionship, good food, singing songs – without feeling upset by the waste and pollution that I’m generating.
It does take a couple of years for the ‘strictly no presents’ message to get through to your relatives, and needs some reinforcing, but it’s well worth it. I would still recommend buying presents for your children though. Christmas does have special magic for children, and because they are growing their interests and ‘needs’ constantly change, so well-chosen presents are used and appreciated by kids. But not presents for adult relatives and friends, who usually have way too much stuff already, and would do a far better job of choosing things for themselves if they need or want something.