by Freddie the Fair Trade Elf
Nothing captures the Holiday spirit quite like exploiting hardworking people and polluting the environment —no, wait. That can’t be right. Let’s start over: nothing captures the Holiday Spirit quite like empowering people around the world and respecting the environment. Now that’s more like it!
If you agree, you’ll be happy to know that you can give presents that go the extra mile to make the world a better place. Just look for the Fairtrade certified Mark !
Take a peak at the fair gift suggestions below; they’ll have everyone on your list as jolly as Old Saint Nick!
1. For the Foodie: Distinguished palettes will dig a basket of culinary treats with a conscience. Start off with a Fairtrade certified wine from your local liquor store, throw in a special roast coffee or a favourite tea with some fine chocolates.
Introduce them to Fairtrade certified olive oil, spices and dried fruit. Top it all off with an apron made from Fairtrade certified cotton, to protect from the splatters of a creative kitchen. And don’t forget to throw in a reusable cotton bag for all those trips to the farmers’ market!
Where to buy: Ask your local liquor store for their Fairtrade certified wines from Argentina, Chile or South Africa. Coffee, tea and chocolate are all found at supermarkets, health food stores and cafes alike. Keep an eye out for olive oil, dried fruit and spices at your local Ten Thousand Villages, as well as in some natural food stores. Aprons and bags are sold by FibrEthik.
2. For the Athlete: Sporty Sally would be appalled to learn that her soccer ball was stitched by a child’s tiny hands and Sweaty Sam will hear nothing of all the pesticides that go into growing conventional cotton! Opt for a Fairtrade certified sports ball. You can get your hands (and feet) on Fairtrade soccer balls, volleyballs and footballs, so get in the game! Cotton farmers shouldn’t have to sweat the unstable price of their crops. When your loved one is sweating through a Fairtrade certified cotton T-shirt they won’t have to. Score.
3. For the Homebody: For those who are more Saturday Night Reader than Saturday Night Fever, this elf knows just the thing! Create a sumptuous home spa experience.
Pamper them with fair personal care products containing Fairtrade certified cocoa and shea butter. Soothe a Workaholic Wendy with just the right herbal tea and treat Harry the Hermit to a Fairtrade cotton robe. You can all relax knowing that your gift brings good tidings to those who could really use it.
Where to buy: Companies across the country offer Fairtrade certified lotions and potions. Find out who they are here. Toronto’s Green Living Organics (GLO) has its very own spa collection, including robes and slippers made of Fairtrade certified cotton.
4. For the Kiddos: Dress your youngest in Fairtrade certified cotton baby clothes – awareness and adorableness all wrapped into one!
Consider some Fairtrade certified hot chocolate for older kids. For the impatient, there are some chocolate advent calendars out there (but I hear they’re going fast). Don’t forget the stockings! A Fairtrade certified chocolate bar or fruity lip balm is just the right fit.
Where to buy: Baby clothes can be purchased from GLO and Nosilla Enterprises. Hot chocolate and chocolate bars can be found in supermarkets, natural health food stores and cafes throughout the country –look for the FAIRTRADE mark! Lick-your-lips yummy lip balms come from a variety of companies, find them here.
5. For the Style Maven: On top of Fairtrade cotton tees, you can find jewellery, scarves and home decor items crafted by Fair Trade artisans around the world by visiting your local Ten Thousand Villages store or speaking to a Jolica representative. These unique crafts fall outside the scope of Fairtrade certification, so don’t be alarmed if you can’t find the mark. Just ask questions and do your homework.
6. For the DIY Dude or Diva: For the pros who have mapped out the way to one’s heart via their stomach, here are a few ideas on how to woo your homemade honey with Fairtrade ingredients. Pack your cookies chock-full of Fairtrade chocolate chips. Make family brunch better by baking fair trade banana bread. Put a smile on your gingerbread cookies by choosing Fairtrade certified molasses and spices. Go nuts caramelizing things with Fairtrade certified sugar.
7. For the Host or Hostess with the Mostess: There’s something to be said about the classics. When holiday house hopping, bring along Fairtrade certified wine, chocolate or flowers. It’s just classy, like something James Bond would bring to the party.
Where to buy: Fairtrade certified flowers are certainly harder to find than Fairtrade coffee, so use the Fair Trade Finder!
I have to scurry back to Santa’s workshop, but before I go remember…
However you choose to celebrate with your loved ones, you can determine how well someone provides for theirs, even from a world away. And for that, you don’t even need Christmas magic.
Freddie the Fair Trade Elf :)