Cut Your Bills News Dreaming Of A Cheap And Ethical Christmas 2574
Dreaming of a cheap and ethical Christmas?
28 November 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
The British economy is declining and disposable incomes are falling, so why not go back to basics, saving money and the environment by having an ethical Christmas this year?
As retailers and producers realise that Brits are becoming increasingly concerned with ethical products, more are being made, offering heaps of choice for Christmas gifts.
Things to look out for include:
• Recycled goods – Get everything from top of the range blankets to kids’ wooden toys, all made from ethically friendly recycled goods.
• Fairtrade – Make sure the people who made and supplied your Christmas gifts were paid a fair wage by choosing gifts with the Fairtrade logo.
• For the family members who already have everything – Why not forgo personal gifts and give to charity instead? Oxfam offers gifts including a goat, mosquito nets and school books, all of which will go to those who need it most.
• Really get back to basics with homemade gifts – Things like homemade chutney or chocolates always go down well and you will save on air miles, cash and energy.
And, why not make your purchases even more ethical by paying for them with a charity credit card. Choose the card of your choice and every time you make a purchase, a portion will be donated to charity.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of buying presents for the sake of it at Christmas, and sadly, more often than not, the gift is unwanted. In the current financial climate, people are really struggling to pay for their day to day expenses, so, although it may sound boring, helping a friend or family member out by paying for their car insurance for the year, or getting them a better deal on their mobile phone could be really welcomed.
A Christmas tree can really make the festive period special. But buy from a sustainable source to make sure it is as environmentally friendly as possible. And make sure it is recycled afterwards!
Energy efficient Christmas
Gas and electricity bills are set to hit the roof this winter before coming down again, so bear this and the environment in mind during the festive season.
• Switch normal Christmas tree lights for energy saving LED lights.
• Try not to use electrical appliances like the TV too much – visit friends instead!
• Always switch appliances like televisions off at the plug – standby uses power.
• Save the Christmas lights for night time – Don’t waste money and save the environment.
• Get festive and use candles instead of electric lights (but be careful!)
Food is at the heart of Christmas so keep it ethical and buy local. Hunt down your nearest farm shops and support your local producers. You may even save money and time as well as food miles.
Commenting on the ethical and thrifty Christmas tips, Fairinvestment.co.uk spokesperson Rachael Stiles said: “There has never been a better time to become environmentally and pocket friendly at Christmas. Brits are struggling to pay for every day costs so saving a bit at Christmas is essential.
“It is time to go back to basics with homemade presents and candles as opposed to computer consoles and energy guzzling Christmas lights. You would be surprised how much energy and money you can save with a few simple alterations.”