A Guide to Ethical Christmas Gifts

Many people this year will be looking to rein it in a bit over Christmas. Thanks to the economic downturn, many of us will be spending less. Thanks to healthier lifestyles, many of us will be eating less and thanks to the need for a clearer conscience, many of us will be looking to buy more ethical gifts. Ethical gifts can refer to a range of different items; they could be ethical because they are environmentally friendly, because they are fair trade, or perhaps because they provide a donation to charity.
Environmentally Friendly Gifts
If you worry about the fact that every time you buy a new item, you are contributing to global shipping, to packaging and adding to your carbon footprint, then you could look for more environmentally friendly gifts. The best thing for the environment is to give something that has already been used or 'preloved'. This means the packaging and shipping are distant memories and best of all someone else gets to enjoy it all over again.
Not everything can be reused, of course, but classic ideas are kids' toys that can be cleaned up and passed down, such as building blocks or wooden train sets. . If someone you know has just moved into a new house, then an old piece of your furniture could be repainted and given on. For book lovers, you don't always need to buy a brand new book; plenty of places offer used books in excellent condition, saving both money and paper.
Sometimes only new will do and in these cases, there are still a number of options for environmentally friendly gifts. Look for items which use sustainable packaging, which don't have the need for batteries or have been produced with recycled materials.
Charity Donations
Probably the most 'ethical' gift you can buy is a donation to charity. But this doesn't have to be boring, because you can personalise each one to suit the bearer. A dog lover may appreciate a donation to a dogs' charity, whilst an eco warrior may like to have acre of rainforest protected. Whatever the recipient's interests, there is bound to be a charity gift to suit.
Fair Trade Items
We all deserve a little luxury now and then so if you are considering buying jewellery, chocolate, stationery or toiletries, then certified fair trade items are what you need to be looking out for. Fair trade chocolates make great stocking fillers, whilst a fairly mined and fairly traded gold necklace shows a great deal about how much you care.

For a great range of ethical gifts and presents, visit Green Tulip, the UK's eco friendly online store offering a fabulous selection of green gifts at sensible prices.

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