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.

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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.