It’s Christmas! Think Sustainably…

by on Wednesday, 19 December 2012

What gifts are you buying or receiving this Christmas?

It’s nearly Christmas, and for many people this means giving and receiving loads of Christmas presents.

Once upon a time, we used to have to wait until birthdays or Christmas to get special things. These days, it seems that when you want something, you go out and get it immediately.

If you’re like me, buying presents for friends and family can be stressful as you think of what they may want or need. It’s even more stressful buying for those that always don’t seem to need anything… but you feel like you have to give something, as it is Christmas.

The other dilemma is that by just buying stuff, we’re contributing to an unsustainable cycle of consumption, i.e. buying more and more stuff, for the sake of it.

Think also of our planet and the rest of mankind this Christmas.

Consider this instead:

  • Give the gift of your time and a special experience, e.g. take someone to dinner, a movie, the theatre, join a local volunteer day, go on a hike somewhere (you organise it all and pay for it), etc.  They’ll remember that experience years later, whereas they’ll probably forget that gadget you gave them by Easter.
  • If they genuinely need something, see if you can research the most sustainable product possible, e.g. organic, fair trade, locally produced, etc.
  • Give the gift of a donation. I’ll never forget one birthday – a friend gave me a goat, except I didn’t receive the goat, a family in Africa did (care of OXFAM). I didn’t really need anything anyway, and I’ll always remember that goat!

There are loads of other ideas. Make this one special by putting some real thought into your gifts and being part of the process of helping others live more sustainably too.

ISV is much more than just the provider of a volunteer and travel program. We are gateway into a more sustainable lifestyle.

Special note:  On behalf of ISV’s staff around the world, to our of our volunteers who will spend their time in Thailand, Costa Rica and South Africa this Christmas, we wish you a very safe and wonderful time together.  Thank you for all your efforts as you volunteer;  hundreds of others are benefiting from it, as is our planet.

To learn more about ISV’s programs visit our website:


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