Saturday, November 08, 2008

Gifts with a conscience for the holiday season

I hate to say it, but the 'tis the season to consume' is upon us. Malls are decked in their brightest and lavishest holiday trim and soon the stores will be pushing their great gift ideas for the family, friends, pets and hosts.

I decided to be different this time around, I'll give gifts that make a difference - gifts with a global conscience. The gifts, cards and wrapping paper will need to have at least one of these to be part of my repertoire:

  • Donates proceeds to a charitable cause like Unicef and Green Peace to name a few.
  • Be organic - certified by a recognized agency - not just "green", look at the ingredient lists to spot suspicious words. Truly organic products will disclose their ingredient list and will state that it's free of pesticides, petrolatum, synthetics, etc.
  • Be fair trade - meaning a fair price was paid to the producer and/or that part of the proceeds went to improve the life of the community where the product was produced - Ten Thousand Villages has a great selection of fair trade items ranging from coffee, teas, spices, rice, chocolates, housewares and jewelry .
  • Is produced locally in a responsible fashion and meets one of the three criteria above.
I already got my greeting cards from Unicef. I bought them at the Ikea store in Ville St-Laurent.

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