Ethical Gift Giving

The holiday season is a season of giving, but it doesn’t have to be the season of spending. We like gift giving to be ethical and just both from an environmental and a social perspective, so we have put together some suggestions of how you can really give this Holiday season. This is what we at Friends of the Earth Malta think is the best way to give this year.

The gift of Time

The best gift you can give anyone—and this does apply to absolutely everyone, no matter what their background—is time! There is no gift more beautiful than dismissing all the things that we are preoccupied with, to give our time to others. Spending leisurely hours with a person, helping them out with things they need to do, or just showing that you are there, ready to help. Focus on doing more time-giving this year, and enjoy other’s presence without rushing. What is most important this giving season, is to think about what brings the most joy to your life and to those you love. Let’s move away from materialism but shift towards experientialism.

Experiences are what we will hold on to

Since time is finite, like all of the world’s resources, giving people experience and memories is the next best thing. Ideally, these experiences include time with you, but they can also do them on their own or with other people they cherish. Workshops are a really nice gift since you are also sharing knowledge. There are so many options to pick from—send your friends to learn how to make their own pottery, buy them participation in an upcycling workshop, maybe a theatre ticket, or an educational retreat—there are so many experiences and memories you can give your loved ones. Find out more here!

Handmade with Love

Overall the mantra should be, give people time and experience or things they really need, and there is no better way to show that you really value the person if you make them something that they need. It will also be fun for you to learn new crafts that you may enjoy for years to come. You can have a go at sewing projects, or make Christmas decorations from natural material, or bake something delicious, or have a go at preserves and jam making.

Ethical all the way

If you do decide to buy gifts, make sure your purchases are ethical both environmentally and socially. Support companies who are not exploitive, who are not using slave labour, who do not deforest areas for the production of a consumable. This world is interconnected, that the choices we are making in our country are affecting lives in others. Support local small businesses, voluntary organisations, artists, handcrafters, and food producers. There are so many options nowadays for alternative products that are supporting a shorter supply chain and a better social and environmental model.