The Friday after Thanksgiving, shoppers will—as they do every year—line up in front of stores, poised to descend en masse on the goods housed within. Some do it for the deals, others for the excitement, and some avoid it all together. The impact of this mad dash of consumerism, however, is severe—and sometimes even deadly.
Still, when the holidays roll around, there will be plenty of people that expect and deserve gifts. Fortunately, there are saner, safer, and more sustainable alternatives to the Black Friday rush. Oxfam's "Unwrapped" campaign offers a novel one.From the comfort of their homes, shoppers can give meaningful gifts to everyone on their list, in the form of a practical donation to someone in need. Options range from farm animals—like a can of worms, a dozen chickens, or a sheep—to daily essentials like soap, an efficient cooking stove, or a blanket.
Once purchased, Oxfam delivers a personalized card to the person of the buyers choice, then taps into its global network of aid and relief workers to find a person or community most in need of the item.
To help make a decision, the staff at the Green Music Group have made some helpful recommendations including things like a bicycle, a stove, and an alpaca.
So, this holiday season, give something unique that will make a world of difference to someone on the other side of the globe.
Read more about responsible gifting:
TreeHugger's Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Low-Impact Luxury for High-Impact Giving
Make a 'Donation Made In Your Name' Gift Exciting and Hip
Make the Holidays More About Sharing and Less About Stuff