In our last blog post, we wrote about 4 tips for a greener Christmas. One of our suggestions was to ‘collect memories, not things’ by requesting cash as an alternative to a gift that you might not want with ideas for things to do with the money if you didn’t have any burning plans for it.
Today we’re featuring a guest blog from Ethex who are here to give you some more suggestions on what to do with that money in regards to ethical investments as gifts, with both UK and overseas alternatives to choose from.
Gifts that keep on giving
As an ethically-minded consumer, it’s that time of year that you dread. You have a list of family and loved ones to buy presents for and not nearly enough time to carefully select a gift with meaning for each.
So, the urge to panic buy takes over, and come Christmas day we give (and receive) some gifts that achieve little other than boosting the profits of big retailers, whilst also depleting the planet’s finite and diminishing resources, not to mention the carbon emissions that arise from production and distribution.
In fact, research says that 32%* of people receive at least one unwanted present every year with an average value of £155. That amounts to around £2.6 billion spent unnecessarily every Christmas.
Why not think about ethical investing this year instead?
An alternative to a physical gift is a gift-investment. Choosing an ethical investment as a gift will not only deliver the potential of future financial return, but the knowledge that you’re giving a business the opportunity to do good.
According to research, the majority of unwanted gifts are received by younger people with almost half of those aged 18-34 received unwanted gifts, on average two each, with an estimated value of £279. And 42% of this group, if given money for Christmas, would consider investing it ethically*.
An ethical investment on behalf of a young relative or friend, not only gives them the opportunity of a financial return in the future, but, importantly teaches them about the benefits of ethical investing and allows them to learn about the social and environmental impact of money.
Gift of power in Africa
If you fancy making an investment that creates an impact overseas then consider Energise Africa. Starting at just £50 you investment could help to deliver a gift that is truly life-changing. These bonds help pioneering businesses install solar systems in rural Africa, bringing the gift of light and energy to families there that otherwise may not be able to afford it. And with potential returns of up to 6% pa**, the impacts are double and you can view all the latest projects at LendAHand.
Gifts with UK impact
Alternatively, if you would prefer something located in the UK then take a look at the Ethex online platform, you can choose from a range of savings and investment products that have a real impact as well as the potential of financial return.
Our latest offers include; Our Power’s social purpose bond helping to support its strategy of challenging the big 6 power companies and fighting fuel poverty by making energy affordable to more people or Bovey Paradiso – a community share offer funding the restoration of a derelict pub into a café, community arts centre, theatre and cinema in Devon.
To find out more about these offers and others such as Resilient Energy’s Alvington Court wind turbine and Oikocredit’s funding of small businesses overseas visit www.ethex.org.uk.
Ethical gifts all wrapped up
If you still prefer to give a gift this year, then why not choose an ethical gift? You can still make your loved ones smile without adding to the pile of wasted toys or unspent gift vouchers. There are plenty of options for gifts that have a positive impact, but are not just gifted charitable donations.
For example, Divine Chocolate offers a mouth watering range of fair trade chocolate gifts, from stocking fillers to hampers, that will delight any chocolate lover as well as benefit cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Browsing BluePatch.Org, you will come across hundreds of beautiful, ethically sourced and UK made gift ideas that you can be sure won’t be replicated on the high street.
And for coffee lovers, Café Direct offer a range of gift plans that explore the global taste of coffee as well as ensuring a fair income for the coffee farmers.
So, if you have managed to resist the urge to blow your Christmas budget on Black Friday deals, consider one of these unique and ethical alternatives to give a gift that truly does keep giving.
** Capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.