[continued from part one]
3. Fair trade goodness
Another option for an ethical Christmas gift is to give people something fair trade. Things like coffee, tea and chocolate are a nice option here, because they are semi-luxury foods that lots people like (or may be slightly addicted to). Another benefit is that these are some of the products that are difficult to grow in Australia and generally involve incredible bad labour conditions (essentially slavery) when purchased from large corporations. A lovely spin off may be that some of your gift recipients may choose to make the switch to fair trade on a more permanent basis.
Other fair trade items might include clothing or home wears from shops like Cambodia House or Taylor & Khoo - who produce their products through fair trade practices in Cambodia and then send all of their profits back to Cambodia to run projects like an orphanage and other project work with people with disabilities, urban poor, female land mine victims and rural youth.
4. Eco-friendly gifts
Eco-friendly gifts are also a nice option for an ethical Christmas. This opens a whole range of possibilities and there a plenty of places stocking great gift ideas in this category.One of our favourite sites is Biome where you can buy a range of eco-friendly products, like these adorable wooden animals by Anamalz (available internationally), or environmentally responsible stationary (like the "I used to be a car tyre" mousepad) or the beautiful skin (and baby) care range from Tasmania's Beauty & the Bees.
5. Homemade & Handmade
Another option is to make something yourself. So, for example, if you enjoy baking, you could make gingerbread for people or other tasty treats (using organic & fair trade ingredients, of course).
If you are skilled in the arts & crafts area then you also have a whole range of other options - you could make a patchwork quilt for someone, using recycled & vintage fabrics, or you could make them some jewelry using recycled objects.
If you lack these kinds of skills (as I do, alas), then you might want to check out all the glorious items available on etsy. Everything on etsy is handmade and the money goes straight to the producer. Continuing with our ethical theme you could focus particularly on items that are made with recycled or eco-friendly materials or you could use the geolocator tool to locate sellers that are close to you (or to your intended recipient) so that you items do not have to travel too far and use up unnecessary fossil fuels.
Finally, you could give someone an experience rather than an object. For kids this might include a gift of dance or gymnastic lessons, or a trail ride. For adults it might be something that they have always wanted to do - like the Bridge Climb (Sydney Harbour Bridge) or hang gliding.
P's sent me hang gliding for my birthday a few years ago and it was the best birthday that I have ever had.