Ethical gift giving this Christmas

A person holding a handmade gift

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Cars are starting to look like reindeer with antlers and red noses.

The temperature is heating up which means a long break on the beach. Seeing a jet skiing Santa is not out of the question.

The shops are packed with people and carols seem to be following you everywhere.

Yep, things are definitely starting to look jolly… but it’s hard to feel festive with a mile long list presents to buy before Christmas Day.

Don’t just jump into the nearest supercentre and purchase forgettable, carbon copy gifts for your loved ones. There are much more thoughtful and cost-effective ways to show your love and appreciation while ticking the ethical box, too!

A 2016 survey by Gumtree found Australians could save $250 per household by shopping second-hand for Christmas gifts and more than half of survey recipients would be happy to receive a second hand item.

This is an amazing statistic! We can help reduce rubbish produced from gifts, support workers in poor conditions overseas and save our own pennies with second hand or environmentally friendly gift shopping.

Check out our three best ways to shop ethically this Christmas.

Decorative candy canes in a row

Be environmentally conscious

On average, Australians send 20 million tonnes of rubbish to landfills per year – and this only makes up 40% of Australia’s overall waste production.

Imagine how much it increases at Christmas.

There are some super simple methods of reducing rubbish and reusing materials this Christmas to improve our environmental impact.

  • Give a gift made of recyclable material. Presents made from recycled materials are often the most interesting and creative. Ethical Gifts deliver quirky childrens toys, natural jewellery and homewares straight to your door, all made from recycled materials.
  • Give a gift with minimal plastic packaging. Plastic-free and bag-free retailers are popping up all over the place! The Junction, Newcastle has a wonderful bring-your-own-bag shop called Scoop Wholefoods where you can purchase all sorts of sweet treats. Just pop them in a cute hessian bag and pop them under the tree – Christmas goodies are sorted, minus the plastic!
  • Give a preloved item a second life. There are unique and inexpensive treasures you can find at your local op shop. Not only will your gift be one of a kind, you’ll be reducing environmental waste, too.

You can make a difference this Christmas. Let’s reduce our carbon footprint and make the world a better place.

Make a donation

What would you change about the world if you could? Would you stop animal cruelty? Poverty? Social injustice?

Consider making cash donations to charities of your choice in lieu of presents this Christmas. It could be a lifesaving gesture for families and animals in need.

Several charities offer “gift cards” that represent books, vaccines, food and learning packages for impoverished countries. You can also donate to any number of local charities and write a special message in a card for your loved one, such as:

“This Christmas, my gift for you is one that keeps on giving. I’ve donated to {charity name}  on your behalf and now, thanks to you, the world is looking a little bit brighter for someone in need!”

A donation to Samaritans will help feed families and provide housing for young homeless people over Christmas as well as purchase toys for disadvantaged children. Let’s make this Christmas the best ever!

Be completely selfless

Buying a gift for a child you will never meet is the ultimate selfless act at Christmas.

You receive nothing in return aside from the joy of knowing you have made sure a child wakes up on Christmas Day to a gift. We must tell you: this feeling is priceless.

You will find Samaritans Giving Trees scattered around many community shopping centres – these trees are a place for you to put a gift for a child or teen who may otherwise go without on Christmas Day.

Samaritans has numerous Giving Trees spotted throughout Newcastle, see locations here.

Reinvent Christmas this year with ethical gift giving

There are far more meaningful ways to treat a loved one than buying a mass produced, plastic wrapped item from a chainstore.

A gift made from recycled materials re-uses items that would have otherwise gone to waste or, alternatively, an op-shop gem can give new life to timeless clothing, shoes, furniture and toys. It’s a great way to reduce rubbish and save your pennies this Christmas!

Want to change a life this Christmas? Consider making a charity donation on behalf of your friends and family or donate gifts to our Giving Tree Christmas campaign this year. Share the love with a complete stranger and feel your heart grow.

Get creative and shop ethically this Christmas!