I have a love-hate relationship with gift-giving. While I love seeing the smile on someone’s face when they receive the perfect present, I’m all too aware of how consumeristic gift-giving can be.  And being aware of the impact overproduction has on workers, child rights, and the environment can feel overwhelming.

Finding gifts that contribute to a better world is no easy task—let alone something that won’t end up collecting dust for months to come. So, here are some ethical gift ideas to get you started.

Sweet Treats That Do A World Of Good

Chocolate is a great ‘I’m not sure what to buy’ gift, but there is a dark side. Over 1.5 million children work on cocoa plantations in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, where most of the world’s cocoa is produced. Choose chocolate from companies working hard to empower their workers and protect the environment by using Be Slavery Free’s Chocolate Scorecard when you shop, and ensure a sweet Christmas for all.

An Act Of Love

One of the best ethical Christmas gifts I received is a ‘voucher’ from my sister-in-law, offering to help us paint our apartment. Instead of adding more clutter to someone’s life, give a personal act of love. A card with a heartfelt message, practical help, or an offer to take the kids somewhere special for the day can mean more than a material gift.

Gifts That Build A Better World

Know someone who is passionate about building a better world? Give them a Better World Gift. Each beautifully designed card shows the impact of your donation on behalf of the recipient, such as clean water for communities, blankets for refugees or education opportunities for children. We also have a range of stationery that helps people think deeper about faith and issues of poverty.

An Op-Shop Find

For a fun sustainable gift idea, inject some creativity into this year’s Kris Kringle by challenging everyone to buy their present at a local op-shop. Buying second-hand reduces carbon emissions, saves on resources used to make new products, and helps reduce landfill. It’s also good fun, as you never know what treasure you’ll find!

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Australia produces around 76 million tonnes of landfill each year, with 16 percent coming from households. Help your loved ones replace their disposable products with reusable alternatives that look great and care for the environment. Reusable coffee cups, water bottles, shopping bags and stainless steel straws make thoughtful gifts that also help reduce waste.

Fashion That Cares For People And The Planet

If you need to buy someone clothes for Christmas, choose the most ethical and sustainable option available to you by doing a bit of research before you hit the shops. Here are some tips on how to make an informed choice. And remember, you can use our Ethical Clothing Guide’s Brand Finder tool to ask your favourite clothing and footwear brands to do better.

A Book That Challenges Them

Books grow our imaginations, inspire our hearts, and challenge our thinking. If you’re looking for books that are good for the soul and help people connect their faith with justice issues, check out our list of great books for adults and children. Want a sustainable option? Go second hand with resellers such as B Corp company World of Books.

DIY Gifts (They’ll Actually Keep!)

Giving a homemade gift doesn’t mean you need to be an expert in all things crochet. Simple things like cookie mix in a jar (google it if you’re not sure what this is!), beeswax wraps, or sharing herbs from your garden can make a great present—plus you can upcycle materials to create them. Not the crafting type? Easy food gifts such as homemade tea blends are also a great option.

A Gift That Grows

As far as sustainable Christmas gifts go, gardens have so many benefits. They clean the air, reduce carbon emissions, and increase wildlife biodiversity. Tools for gardening, seeds and plants can make a great gift—even if your loved one only has space for a balcony garden or herbs on the kitchen window. Research also shows gardening is good for our mental health and wellbeing, so your gift will go a long way towards enriching their life.