Tips for Ethical Christmas Gift Shopping

Feelings — 6.12.2015

You don’t have to be a big green man, an organic hippie or anything out of a normal person to buy this year’s gifts in an aware meaningful way. Scan this through before shopping and you can be a much better human being living in a smooth co-operation with nature in this world!

Sounds good! So what to note:

1. Think twice

The thing that you’re considering of buying is it something that the person needs? Is it useful? Is it ageless? Is it beautiful something or just junk?

OH what a lovely croco magnifying glass!!! But wait a minute, what anyone does with this?
Oh what a lovely croco magnifying glass!!! But wait a minute, what anyone does with this?

Often when you’re trying to find something small to remember the relatives or kids of the friends with little money, you can end up buying the bullshit. So think twice.

I almost bought a couple of rubber balls to my friend’s kids because I like bouncing balls, they had crazy colours and they were cheap. But then I thought, wtf they probably have already tens of balls and synthetic rubber is such a burden for nature.

Wtf... I almost bought these bullshit balls as a small bringing. Better bring nothing!
Wtf… I almost bought these bullshit balls as a small bringing. Better bring nothing!

Maybe today we might be a bit advanced. It might be enough just to give your warm wishes and maybe visit with flowers or make a call to show you care.

Also, one important thing is to use something till it signs off the contract. I don’t understand the too fast cycle of renewing things. If your phone is still working do you really need to update the new model? If yes, you have something in mind for the previous model right? Only now after three years I’m giving up my broken Samsung and ask Santa to bring me the new rose gold iPhone – I changed the sledge. I will use it for many years.

2. Assure the quality and the origin

Is it a quality that you’re going to buy? One thing is for sure; there’s no reason to buy bad disposable stuff.

This doesn’t mean that you have to take the most expensive brands – in fact; high-end brand surely doesn’t mean certain quality. And everybody knows that it’s the brand name that costs like 80 per cent of the product. Often they are good and durable, though. But likewise you can find a great item in a basic chain store (or even better, from a local actor). Of course, if you hear that brand X has committed to a serious child labour use, then maybe skip going in their shop. Keep in mind the origin and ethical ground. Google beforehand and ask around from the clerks about quality.

For example when it comes to clothing, the most important point is always to check the materials! Favour the renewable natural materials; cotton, linen, hemp, jute, wool, mohair, silk, leather… that have a long life. Viscose is a durable, nice semi-synthetic fabric as well as lyocell/tencel and modal – they are produced in a natural friendly way. Then there are the mixture materials (for instance 50 percent cotton, 50 percent polyamide), which may work out well. But seriously avoid buying the pure synthetic fibres like polyamide, acryl and polyester. Their reactant is usually non-renewable substances, like oil, coal and water.

For example, acryl doesn’t last a few use when it’s ruined and looks horrible. If your beanie is nubby, check it out: I’m 100 % sure it’s 100 % acrylic. It’s sweaty and doesn’t keep you warm like natural materials, wool and cotton. Learn to check the items’s small tab and also touch the material – you will get the feeling what will stay good and what doesn’t. This is a good hint for everyday life!

Also keep the receipt and tell openly to the gift receiver if she/he wants to change the item it’s fine. Just to be sure and not add waste in this world.

Assure the quality
Check the quality

3. Remember, enough is enough

Buying gifts may get out of hands. So set a budget and keep it.

Often with children – especially with the first kid – people end up buying wayyy wayyy too much stuff. It’s so silly to look at the kid (or the parent) opening the gifts and then getting bored after the first couple of gifts. In the same time, some families and children get nothing. Set a perspective and some sense.

People always get crazy with all the consumption in Christmas time
People always get crazy with all the consumption in Christmas time

4. Very easy yet significant act: take your own bag while shopping!

Yeyeye you might look nice walking on the streets with all the different shopping bags and maybe get a great Instagram shot – but are you thinking about nature at all now?

Don’t take every single plastic or paper bag that they tend to give you in the boutique. Refuse and say aloud: “No thanks, I have my own, better for nature.” So that maybe someone behind you can learn from you! Take the bag only if you want to do the gift package out of it. Re-use is the word!

5. Re-use the gift paper

Yep. Re-use! Recycle fine gift paper from the previous year. There’s no reason always to buy new ones.

6. Give an abstract gift – give an experience

Choose service; massage or beauty treatment, delicious dinner at a great restaurant, concert or another form of entertainment, perhaps a well needed holiday trip.

7. Give a ”good” gift – help someone who really needs that gift

Buy water for the whole village, a couple of chickens to a family, vaccinations for a baby or something as heartfelt and significant as this and share the information as a gift to your loved one. That surely gives a good mood and great feeling to know that someone has become really glad somewhere.

Several options and organisations do this. Is there a familiar organisation you like? Or perhaps a local smaller and more effective operator? Just google a bit and make your good move.

8. Do it yourself!

Isn’t it always the sweetest when kids do something at the kindergarten and give them as gifts – you surely did that too and remember some of your handcraft from your childhood. Is there something you are good at or enjoy doing? Can you use this skill and make a memorable, lasting gift out of that? Think about it and be creative!

I remember I was doing cool gnomes out of wood when I was young. My mum and grandma still have them, and they are lovely decorations being in the pole position each Christmas.

One more thing. About the package cards. Have you ever tried re-using the advent calendars and made small package cards out of the windows/pictures!?

9. Finally a few evergreen ideas!

Jewellery is forever. Small treasures that everyone usually likes– and if not, it can be changed together easily to a pleasant one. Learn not to take it personally – better that she/he loves it than fakes it!

In today’s world, invest in real books. Many could use a break off the electronic devices. Books never get old; they can be passed around from family member or friend to another. If it’s a total nerd we’re talking about, then an electronic book. Books enlighten!

Give your presence. Spend quiet time with the loved ones. After all don’t make gifts the most important thing – in fact, start getting over them in this hectic, consumable world. Value some things like going to Christmas carol concert with your grandma, spend time with your family and friends, enjoy the Christmas peace and feeling – all the candles, scents and flavours (but don’t overbuy food either).

Christmas sweets and food is delicious and once in a year only. Still take the amount you need.
Christmas sweets and food is delicious and once in a year only. Still take the amount you need.

Now I’m just challenging everyone to take part buying gifts with a caution! Merry aware Christmas!

Whatta cute owl napkin rings! I get excited about all the beautiful things so easily and love to walk and look around! Still I work hard to stay aware and prohibit myself to buy needless things.
Whatta cute owl napkin rings! I get excited about all the beautiful things so easily and love to walk and look around! Still I work hard to stay aware and prohibit myself to buy needless things.
People Christmas shopping in Malta
People Christmas shopping in Malta
Maltese Christmas market
Maltese Christmas market
It fees funny that it feels so Christmassy here!
It fees funny that it feels so Christmassy here!
A religious feast in a religious country in religious way: somebody's window decorations
A religious feast in a religious country in religious way: somebody’s window decorations
Facebook Comments
Comment
close