Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Top 5 tips for ethical gift giving this Christmas

We’re encouraging Australians to avoid wasting time and money on purchasing forgettable gifts this Christmas that will end up in the garage or garbage by February. We want to remind Aussies that there are more thoughtful and cost-effective ways to show your love and appreciation, while also being ethical. ChildFund is offering an easy way to buy gifts that bring a lifetime of joy to young children in the Asia-Pacific region.

1. Avoid vouchers that won’t be used and opt for gifts that will make a difference. Australians waste $70 million every year on unused gift cards. Instead of spending money on vouchers that will be lost or forgotten about, you can buy a present that can transform the life of a young child. For $50 you can buy five school kits for disadvantaged children in our Asia-Pacific region, while for $146 you can buy a bike to help a child get to school safely. Want to go the whole hog? Then buy a pig! The ChildFund Gifts for Good catalogue is full of practical, quirky and life-changing gift ideas.

2. Recycle your wrapping paper right. To make sure your recycling doesn’t end up in landfill, remove any sticky tape and decorations (such as ribbons and bows) as these can’t be recycled. Wrapping paper can only be recycled if it passes the scrunch test (plain paper can be recycled, but foil or glitter-decorated paper needs to go in the general waste). Even better, opt for recycled paper that is just as festive. You can find some fun Aussie-recycled wrapping paper on Buy Eco Green.

Giving a Gift for Good, such as a bike, this Christmas cuts down on rubbish presents and helps change a child’s life.

3. Give experiences, not things. “Things” can be broken, lost, or become outdated over time. They can be a waste of money. Instead of buying a gift, surprise your loved one with an experience. Plan a fun date, a getaway or a bucket-list adventure and give a gift that you can hold in your memories forever.

4. Choose a gift made from recycled materials. From recycled beach bags to wallets and journals, there are so many thoughtful gifts to choose from that are environmentally friendly and designed to not end up in the bin. You can find a range of home-grown businesses selling their innovative designs online. The Ethical Gifts website is a great place to start your search.

5. Buy second-hand. It’s cheaper, it’s good for the environment, and if you pick the right present, more than half of Aussies say they would be happy receiving a second-hand gift. So before you get sucked into the Christmas sales, if you know what your loved one really wants check out a few second-hand stores first to save your bank account and the environment.

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