December 2, 2015

The 'Good' Gift Guide!

Every Christmas that passes I feel more and more conflicted about getting gifts for others and participating so much in consumerist culture. I often try to make things, but there are only so many little things I can make and give year after year to family who already have 5635263 little paintings I've made for them. So this year I've been thinking a lot about how to do some good by buying things for others, even if it's the same kinds of objects I might buy from a big store.

For the Jewellery Junky
One Bead Bracelets are beautiful - a friend of mine gave me one as a graduation gift and I just love it! One Bead partners with a recycled glass blowing studio in Kenya to make these gorgeous beads for their jewellery. On top of that, 100% of the profits go towards helping a school in Kenya where the idea for One Bead began. It's a great project and the jewellery is so nice - I can say that from personal experience! Read more about their story here.

For the Chocolate Lover
Alter Eco Foods is a fair trade chocolate company (and other foods... but you know, the chocolate is the most important obviously). They work with small-scale farmers to fairly and sustainably create their foods. They are very engaged in the communities they work with, helping to replenish the land they are harvesting from. I really like their statement: "Reliably Delicious, Socially Just, Environmentally Responsible". Read more about them here.

For the One Who Already Has it All
Gifts of Change is a Canadian initiative by Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief. They have many options for donations to be made in the name of someone else. Buy a goat, pay for a safe birth kit, or to plant 100 trees. There are options for a whole variety of causes in Africa that can appeal to a multitude of heart strings. For example - my mom LOVES trees and is very worried about how often they are destroyed. So paying for 100 trees to be planted for her is the perfect gift.

For the Astrologist
This gorgeous speckled, ceramic constellation mug would be great for an astrology lover! And what is "good" about it? It's being sold through Moorea Seal, which donates a portion of its profit to a variety of charities - you can even pick your cause when shopping online!

For the Statement Maker
This fabulous Nim bag by Ixchel Triangle would make such a statement! I've always been such a fan of traditional Mayan patterns and looove that these bags are made out of up-cycled huipils (Mayan blouses).  Ixchel Triangle hires artisans in Guatemala, and the proceeds of the products helps support a Guatemalan family - providing education for their children for example! Read more about their mission here.

What are your favourite "good" gifts to give!?

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