2020: Time for an ethical Christmas
As 2020 draws to a close, one thing is clear: we must be kinder to nature and our neighbours near and far.
Unless we rebalance our relationship with God's creation: the Earth, wildlife and the natural world, catastrophes caused by the climate crisis will continue, and pandemics will become more frequent.
The coronavirus has also unleashed a poverty pandemic across what are already some of the world's poorest countries. As the global economy slows, workers who'd climbed the first rungs out of poverty find themselves slipping back down. Here in Scotland, local businesses have struggled - putting jobs at risk.
If we work together to reduce our carbon footprint and shop in an ethical manner, our planet could begin to heal, workers could be treated fairly, and local businesses stand a chance at survival. Always remember: small acts of kindness add up.
So, here are some tips to have a green and ethical Christmas this year.
- Use fabric as a stylish and sustainable alternative to wrapping paper.
- Be careful when you’re opening your presents and re-use your wrapping paper and gift bags next year.
- Avoid food with excess packaging and buy loose produce.
- On the run up to Christmas, eat the food you’ve got in your freezer to make room for lots of tasty leftovers.
- We all love a bit of sparkle during the festive season – and this might come as a shock – but please avoid products with glitter and sequins. They’re made from microplastics that can make their way into the sea, rivers, and lakes; threatening the safety of animals and sea creatures.
- If you can’t live without the glam, buy biodegradable glitter.
Support small businesses
- Buy vouchers for your favourite local shops (think hairdressers, beauty salons, restaurants).
- Find treasures on Etsy to support independent designers.
- If you have a good experience with a small business, share, share, share your feedback online.
Give back this year
- Instead of presents, you might find your friends and family would prefer to make a donation, so remember to ask them which charities they support.
- We have a range of beautiful ethical presents that help communities living in poverty – check out our Real Gifts store.
Slow down your consumption
- For new clothes and accessories, try buying second hand in charity/vintage shops.
- Why not borrow your Christmas outfits from a friend or family member?
- If you’re buying new, research before purchasing: try to find brands who have fair working conditions and use good quality materials that will last a long time.
Don’t dump your trees
- If you own a plastic tree, use it for as long as possible.
- For real trees, keep it in a pot, a garden, or a friend’s garden for years to come.
- Hire your tree – check your local plant nurseries or garden centres.
Why not try out a few of these tips this Advent? Hopefully, they’ve given you a little ethical inspiration.
All of us at SCIAF hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
If you have any ethical Christmas ideas of your own, upload a picture online and tag us: @SCIAF on Facebook and Twitter; @SCIAF_insta on Instagram. We love seeing how you’re making a difference in the world.