How to have an ethical Christmas; five simple ways to do good this year

December is fast approaching and now is perhaps a good time to think about planning how to celebrate the Holiday period; maybe you already have. But have you considered how ethical your plans are?

Maybe you should consider making this year's celebrations ethical. With very little effort you can ensure that your festivities can do some good, rather than become a hedonistic carnival for your family.

What is an 'ethical' Christmas? It does not just mean 'green', but also doing what is right. All too often we forget we have a responsibility to others and at Christmas, especially, we should consider what we could do for those less fortunate.

Here are some simple ideas to do just that:

  1. Buy charity cards
    We all send Christmas cards; why not support a charity when you buy yours? A portion of what you pay will go to a charity; not much effort is required on your part to help out some worthy causes. Google your favourite charity to get started.
  2. Buy fair trade
    Wherever possible this Christmas, you should buy fair-trade products. This mark ensures that those involved in the production of the item in question have been treated fairly; no slave wages here. Visit
  3. Buy energy saving gifts
    There are many energy saving gizmos floating around. Hand-powered flashlights, cell phone chargers, and radios are available and make great gifts. They help save energy and lower your carbon footprint. Make your own green energy investment this year!
  4. Use old newspaper as wrapping paper
    Why do we spend money on something literally bought to throw away? Wrapping paper can be substituted with old newspaper you already have laying around the house. Here, you can save money and reduce waste.
  5. Only buy what you intend to use
    It seems traditional to over-indulge when it comes to food at Christmas. Not only does this leave you feeling worse for wear but also, those extras could have been better used elsewhere. Cut back this Christmas, and, if you are feeling generous, give some of your savings to a soup kitchen to help the truly needy this Christmas.

Obviously, this is just the beginning. There are many ways you can make your Christmas an ethical one. But these five simple ways are an easy start.

Do some good this December; after all, isn't that what Christmas is all about?!

author: Nicholas Blackbourn

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