STOP! Before you hit the local shopping mall and work your way through your Christmas shopping list, put a bit of thought in and see if your gift can give twice: here are my top ten socially kind Christmas gifts:
1. Oz Harvest Cookbook
OzHarvest is launching its first ever cookbook featuring ‘food rescue’ recipes from 44 of the country’s most celebrated chefs, which can also potentially save you hundreds of dollars in grocery bills.
On-sale in time for Christmas, The OzHarvest Cookbook uncovers our top chefs’ secrets for using leftovers and is a who’s who of the Australian cooking scene including Maggie Beer, George Calombaris, Peter Gilmore, Bill Granger and Neil Perry.
All proceeds from the book will go to OzHarvest, a not for profit organisation that redistributes excess food to more than 380 charities across Australia. Buy your copy here.
2. The Little Refugee by Anh Doh
100% of profits from the sale of this beautiful children’s book go to the Loreto Vietnam – Australia Program. Started by Loreto Nun Sister Trish Franklin, the charity looks after extremely poor and disabled children in Vietnam. Buy your copy from any good bookstore or here.
3. Mummy’s Wish Christmas Teddy Bear
Buy your child a voice-recordable Teddy Bear this Christmas, and a child of a mum with cancer will get one aswell. To buy your bear click here or read the full Christmas Teddy Bear blog post about this beautiful gift
4. Good Will Wine
Give the gift of Good Will Wine this Christmas! Top quality wine that funds a good cause – as they put it Good Wine, Good Price, Good Will. Choose your cause anywhere from animals, environment to Human Ventures – a charity who deliver life-changing programs to disadvantaged young people and marginalised communities in Australia.
5. Kiva gift card
Give the gift of a micro-loan this Christmas. Become a social investor and make a $25 KIVA loan today helping an entrepreneur in a third world country start a business. The ultimate way to give back. Read my full Effort for Others blog post here or make a loan here. (make sure you join #effortforothers lending team, we are trying to get to 500 loans by Christmas)
6. The Big Issue Calendar
Go and say a big hello to your local Big Issue street vendor and grab your copy of the 2013 Calendar – only $5. The Big Issue is not only a great magazine, it is one of Australia’s leading social enterprises providing creative solutions to the issue of homelessness. Read about subscribing to The Big Issue here (yes the ultimate Christmas gift to yourself!)
7. Shop Ethical Guide
The clever bunch at The Ethical Consumer Group have published the 2013 pocket sized guidebook to help navigate the corporate behavior of the most commonly bought brands in Coles and Woolies, encouraging shoppers to support local and responsible businesses rather than the big multinationals. Read more about the guide here, or buy your copy here.
8. Who Gives a Crap Toilet Rolls
Want to wipe away disease in Africa? The guys behind Who Gives a Crap have made it super easy for you, toilet paper that rolls up both your own cleanliness and a donation to that cause into one convenient package. We all need it, why not give that hard-to-buy for person a great useful gift Who Gives a Crap toilet rolls. If you havent watched the clip yet, check out the story behind the WGAC social enterprise. Possibly the best ever work secret santa gift for that person at work who talks a lot of….
9. A box of locally sourced fruit / vegies from Food Connect (so far only available Brisbane and Sydney)
Local, seasonal, ecological food direct from your local farmer.
Food Connect has fruit boxes packed full of stone fruit, gourmet breads, olives, cheeses, cream, braided garlic and many more goodies that will help to make your festive season feasting even more special. Order online here.
10. Radius Enterprises
I recently heard about an amazing social enterprise in Victoria, Radius Enterprises, who employ 114 supported employees who undertake a range of jobs including packaging, assembly, sewing aprons and smocks, screen printing, garden maintenance, hand-made paper production and maintaining drink vending machines. Watermark Paper Mill produces finely crafted handmade paper using the 18th century method of water baths, moulds and deckles. It is the only mill in Australia producing paper for commercial sale using the technique. Supported employees produce a vast array of paper which is sold locally and internationally. Check out their range here, and talk to Ged – he is great!
Check out my 2011 Socially Kind Christmas list and please tell me your favourite socially kind gifts I have missed? Merry Christmas to you and your family!