This afternoon sees the start of Christmas panic weekend – offices are closing, works lunches are about to be served, and the early afternoon shops are starting to brim with suited men and women looking for some way of making the last weekend before Christmas just a little bit easier. We Brits go for ethical Christmas gifts quite a bit now, but wherever you’re from the approach you can take to buying ethical gifts should be the same. Here are a few random tips and items that we have collected for you to think about today:

1) Bring your own bags.

2) Stay Christmassy! (we’re talking about having ethical fun)

3) Appreciate the value of giving different gifts, or gifts with a twist – Children and adults both like new toys too!

4) Be discerning. Take a little time to think and appreciate what you can learn about ethical retailers, about the ideas and suggestions of others, and your real wishes for Christmas cheer.

5) Don’t Panic! If you can’t manage 100% ethical christmas this year don’t let it mean you stop trying. What can you do after Christmas? Have you found ethical birthday presents too? Have you seen ethical ideas you can use every day? Can you make ethical consumption a regular thing and not just for Christmas?

Where does your Christmas Tree come from and do you care?

Today’s Advent Calendar entry – 19th December – will make you consider just that, as well as how we interact with our own government’s ethical legislation…

A compact but terrific intervention today in NJfC’s Advent Calendar for 18th December, which reminds us not to take the attractiveness of ‘fair trade’ or ‘ethical consumption’ at face value. It’s worth being discriminating, and today’s entry includes a tipsheet on just how to do that!

Edible Ethical

18 December, 2008

News from Devon – yes, the BBC local newsroom which seems to be in overdrive this time of year – that a company in Tiverton has developed an ethical Christmas card which is edible, rather than biodegradable.

more about “Not Just for Christmas – Not Just for…“, posted with vodpod

For us here at NJfC, dear readers, to you at home and at work. Our Christmas e-card for 2008.(Until another good one comes along, that is).You can find out more about NJfC at You can debate the issues surrounding ethical consumption here, there, or at home.

more about “Our NJfC Christmas e-Card – From us t…“, posted with vodpod

A ‘Not Just for Christmas‘ thought for the weekend, today’s entry on the NJfC Advent Calendar – you can debate this by starting a thread or by commenting here.

When we were pitching this project to our sponsors – the AHRC – there was at that time something of a furore caused by another public body, the BBC.

Their advertising campaign for DAB radio ‘confused‘ poor viewers who couldn’t understand the simple message behind it that Christmas gifts tend to be forgotten in our everyday lives. Complaints from viewers and especially retailers made the story bigger news, involving tacit allegations of hypocrisy, as the BBC isn’t meant to advertise (and product sabotage is, after all, a method of advertisement).

One of the themes of NJfC in July was the useless Christmas present – the sort of thing that can only be worn/used/enjoyed at Christmas, yet has no chance of staying fashionable/clean/useful from year to year or even day to day. At least radio, whether new DAB sets or old transistor affairs which your dad used to use in the garden, has a chance of being useful year on year and day to day because content is replenished. Perhaps what retailers are really concerned about is that a DAB set, like your dad’s transistor set, is unlikely to be upgraded next year.

Oxfam Unwrapped

11 December, 2008

An excellent entry in the NJfC Advent Calendar for today, 11th December, reminds us of one of the most common – and yet still often neglectedrecycling initiatives, and how it is a legacy of material optimism of Modernity.


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