Advice Green

Tips for Purchasing Ethical Gifts in 2023

Are you looking to make more ethical choice in 2023? You might already be making small changes in your own life to be more ethical and environmental, but what about other changes? How else can you do the morally right thing for your community and for the planet? One of those changes could be the gifts that you buy others. An ethical gift will have a positive impact on the world. If you’re looking for a gift for someone in your life – whether it’s your best friend, your partner, your mum, or maybe even just a coworker, then I’ve got you covered with these ethical gift ideas.

Support Conservation Efforts with Animal Adoptions

If you follow my blog at all you’ll know what a huge exotic animal and zoo fan I am. Working with reptiles is my full time job! Zoos around the UK are so important to support – they are not just places the whole family can go to be educated and entertained, they’re also a massive source of conservation. From supporting breeding programs for endangered animals, to outreach programs across the world. What about considering animal adoptions as a gift? It’s is an awesome choice for anyone in the family. For a larger gift you could couple it with zoo tickets or even an annual pass.

Buy Local & Independent

Check out local Farmer’s Markets or Crafting markets. There will often be stalls that sell fantastic gifts made by local creators. By buying direct from a local creator you know that the item wasn’t mass marketed. Mass marketed gifts can be made in factories where workers are not treated fairly, and use cheap supplies that are not procured ethically. Have a chat to your local creators about where they buy their supplies. Gifts you can find locally will vary greatly, from homewares to jewellery to food, there’s going to be something for everyone.

If you can’t find something local, you can still purchase hand-made creative products online from small independent businesses on Facebook or marketplaces like Etsy.

Buy a Charity Gift

Charity gifts are when you purchase something from a charity, in the name of something else. This can be donating money to a general cause, or buying something specific. In recent years this has become a lot more accessible, with lots of gifts available from paying the wages of a teacher in a village, to buying a family a cow, to sponsoring a young person to go to university. There are a variety of reputable companies to choose from, such as Good Gifts, Present Aid and Oxfam.

Tickets for Cultural Events

Cultural events such as museums, talks, theatre, music and local sports need the support of the community. They are often underfunded and no longer have the same subsidies they used to have so they need people to buy tickets to continue their programs. Buying tickets for local cultural events gives your gift recipient a great experience, whilst also supporting an ethical cause.

Find Ethical Products

Think about your gift recipient. What type of product would they like to receive? Think about what would make them smile and bring them joy. Then start your research! Almost every product out there can be bought ethically, but you need to put a little bit more work into finding the right brand to buy from. Some ideas to look for when researching:

  • Food – Fairtrade brands, organic food, palm oil-free, deforestation friendly
  • Clothes – Organic clothes, sustainable fabrics, hand-made companies
  • Toys – Wooden & Sustainable toymakers
  • Cosmetics – Buy cruelty free, vegan, organic and natural

Research the company that you’re buying from. Some large companies have good ethical and sustainable policies so you can still make an ethical purchasing choice, even if it’s from a big business.

Buy Preloved, Upcycled and Refurbished

Preloved is the new cool, I promise. Used items can be in fantastic condition and by reusing them you are saving them from the landfill. Reusing items is a good way of making an ethical choice even when you can’t be sure of the origin of the item or are perhaps limited on budget or location. You can buy online from places like eBay or Vinted, or you can shop in charity shops. Second hand book shops are a trove of treasured goods, local furniture makes will upcycle old furniture which has gone out of style, or what about an antiques shop or shopping the local flea market.

In the same vein, if you’re buying electronics, which are almost always made in factories with dubious labour practices, pollution problems and conflict minerals, consider refurbished. It doesn’t remove the poor conditions the items were originally made in, but it does mean you’re increasing the longevity of the product rather than commissioning a new one. Refurbished electrical items are often as good as new, including warranties!

I hope that this has given you some ideas for potential gifts. Every little makes a difference when it comes to having a positive impact on the world – just by thinking about it and trying to make an ethical choice, you’re making a difference!

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