Christmas (x-mas) time, the season of giving. This will be possibly the hardest transition some people can make in their life but start with the smaller things. Let’s give gifts that give back. The kind of gifts where you know it helps the environment, the people and society on the whole. Why are we so engulfed with the niche need of wanting all these things that we don’t even know how it’s made or where it came from? I”m not perfect here as well and I have my equal amount of flaws but let’s take that first step and see what options are out there.
I, myself, am on the journey of changing the way of “gifting” for any occasion. I’ve realized how hard it is to find anything though so I do put partial blame on availability from companies. Here are some “did you know” things I found and no I was not endorsed by anyone for saying such things. I simply base it on how easy and transparent it was to seek for the slightest gift ideas:
- Jewelry – Tiffany & Co. has an ethical sourcing practice for their Laurelton Diamonds, made in 2002.
- Misc. Gifts – Ten Thousand Villages is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and their mission statement states, “Ten Thousand Villages creates opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.”
- Animals & the Essentials – Plan Canada in short gives change and hope to those who need it. Essentially a charity but it’s something different. It also breaks down costs of where the money goes (transparency is always key!)
- An Opportunity for Life – Kiva is a non profit organization which you become a “lender” and connect with other people (based on their profile that you get to see) and help alleviate poverty. The money, most times, come back to you and its to show that a little bit can go a long way.
At the end of my research I’ve realized Ethical “Gifting” is a means of helping someone else in this world and helping them get to a “better” place. It doesn’t have be an object or even if it is, it’s the matter of knowing where it came from and who it helps out (without ever impeding on the the laws based off of International Labor Organization (ILO)). I don’t agree it is a guilt tactic that the “Westerners” are trying to get rid of by helping others. I believe it is one way of trying to bring the gap between the worlds one step closer.
To Ponder On: This Christmas or for someone’s birthday, I challenge you to think one step further of where you’re putting your money. What other companies, products and/or services do you know that can provide the opportunity to change a life?
Photo Source: TheLightSomeLife