In today’s society of ‘stuff’ buying gifts for friends and family can present a bit of a moral quandary. How can we be responsible citizens of the world without being conscious of the footprint our buying leaves on the planet? When buying gifts look for things that have longevity and will be useful to the recipient. It can be tempting to buy throwaway, gag type gifts that have no real use, try and limit those types of gifts to consumables rather than objects for a more environmentally approach.
Fairtrade gifts & buying local
Purchase gifts that directly benefit the maker! There are a number of organizations that help facilitate sales between artists and buyers so you can be sure that the creator of the goods is getting a fair wage for their work. Read more about Fairtrade certification here.
Fairtrade certified items, for the most part, benefit artisans and workers in developing countries. You may also want to consider seeking out local artisans in your own area, buying local is one of the most important things we can do to keep our local economy healthy.
For the person who has everything why not support a charity in their honour? When it comes to making a donation in the name of a child adopting or sponsoring an animal is a great option. Most animal adoptions include a certificate of support that will name the recipient along with a gift item or two such as stuffed animal or photo. Search for both international and local organizations. The benefits of teaching children from an early age about habitat protection and stewardship of our world are immense. For the global outlook consider the World Wildlife Fund and research local organizations if you would like the recipient to gain an understanding of the native species which live on their back door.
Add a personal touch to a basic gift
Don’t forget that a touch of customization can elevate a somewhat mundane or practical gift to the next level. A chopping board or hammer is a great example of an incredibly useful gift however it may not seem like the most exciting of options. With the application of a wood burning tool (about £10) can create a gorgeous personalized design on wooden chopping board or hammer handle with ease. If you are not confident with your design skills, keep it simple and simply add the recipients initials to the corner of the project. You have just elevated a somewhat standard gift to family heirloom status!