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'Tis time for ethical gifts
12:59pm Thursday 11th December 2008 in Going Green
For the organised among us, Christmas presents were probably bought and wrapped months ago. But for those of us still frantically trying to find that perfect little something for our nearest and dearest and are dreaming of a green Christmas to boot, then the Internet hosts a wealth of ethical present-buying opportunities.
Ethical gifts, eco-friendly gadgets, Fairtrade and organic groceries are available at www.ethicalsuperstore.com How about a durable Sherman messenger bag made from surplus military tents, bicycle inner tubes and disused car seats from Worn Again (£65)?
Mousemats made from worn out tyres (£4.25) make ideal stocking fillers.
Electrickery are a company who know how to put recycled circuit boards to good use reinventing them as table lamps, mousemats, business card holders and cufflinks. There are snazzy handbags made from recycled car parts including a Lace Wallpaper Handbag decorated with hundreds of Swarovski crystals and another made using authentic US car license plates. Brightly coloured juice packs are the basis for Doy Bags’ interwoven shopping bags made in a women’s co-operative in the Philippines. There are also plenty of options for children’s presents.
Encourage the little bundles of energy to take some fresh air with the ingenious Recycled Aircraft Tyre Horse Swing (£85), which comes complete with flowing horse mane and can be used indoors should the British weather be its usual miserable self If you’re the traditional sort, the Wooden Train (£20), made by Traidcraft in Thailand, is a hand-crafted pull-along train sure to feed the imagination One way of giving children the toys they want without adding to the landfill problem is to buy from the Ecotronics range. Instead of batteries, these toys rely on a simple wind-up action to power them, are made of biodegradable/recyclable packaging and are great for improving hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor control.
The range includes Mr Robot Head (£15.99), which challenges little ones to move the wand along his antenna from one side to the other without touching the sides. If you do, he’ll buzz with disapproval and his eyes will flash and the Eco Rocket (£19.99) which you wind up and watch soar into space.
For stocking fillers, the Penguin Hand-Squeeze Flashlight (£4.95) or Bat Torch (£4.99) are cute, brightly coloured and operated with a simple squeeze. Each also stands upright to act as a nightlight Ethical Superstore is far from being the only place online to go green this Christmas.
Among the others is BigGreenSmile, a funky online store bursting with eco-friendly gifts which will help you do your bit for the planet. Split into eco-gals, eco-guys, eco-youngsters and stocking fillers, the site has something for everyone.
If you are looking to surprise the man who has everything, what about the Roberts solar-powered DAB radio, a global warming mug or smart, quirky vinyl coasters, made from reclaimed, unplayable vintage records. For the eco-goddess in your life, let her soak away the stresses of the festive period – she can relax in an orange cocoa butter bath melt with a relaxing natural soy essential oil fragranced candle burning in the background and let her troubles float away. If it’s something contemporary and stylish your loved one desires, there’s a range of stunning Vietnamese bowls, boxes and tea light holders made from spun bamboo and naturally lacquered and decorated with recycled egg shells, that are bound to be a hit.
Children are also catered for whether it’s a solar powered helicopter kit or rocket made form recycled cardboard.
BigGreenSmile.com has even got a great range of stocking fillers, all under £20, up for grabs including a recycled bike chain bottle opener, digital shower timer, 2009 climate change calendar and a recycled elephant dung photo frame.
- If you want to explore other online options for ethical giving, www.ethicalgifts.co.uk is a gateway to a host of sites with green credentials.