When the holiday season rolls around, most of us tend to indulge. We have a few extra drinks; we go to a few additional parties; we buy ourselves a gift here and there while shopping for others; we splurge on Uber rides home. And there’s nothing wrong with this. But since it is a season built around giving as much as receiving, there’s something to be said about feeling good and doing good at the same time. With that in mind, ahead you’ll find a few fun ways you can give back – while giving – this holiday season.
Who Gives a Crap?
This might sound unexpected, but how about giving the gift of toilet paper this Christmas? Hey, it’s a present that is practical – and thanks to Who Gives a Crap?, it’s also a present with plenty of panache. Who Gives a Crap? prides itself on making “super-soft, 100 per cent recycled toilet paper” that is also affordable. But the cherry on top is that the company donates 50 per cent of its profits to building toilets in the developing world. This is important because 40 per cent of the world’s population doesn’t have access to a toilet. Currently, you can grab Who Gives a Crap? toilet paper wrapped in pretty Christmas paper. au.whogivesacrap.org
Some of us like to wear matching, basic socks. And some of us like to buck the system and wear wild, colourful, mismatched socks. If you know someone who falls into the latter group, meet Odd Pears. Odd Pears is not your average sock company. When shopping, you don’t pick a “pair” of socks. You pick a “Pear” of socks, which means you’ll get three socks (Pears) in a set: two that match and one that is slightly “odd.” Even better, for every “Pear” you buy, Odd Pears will donate $1 to a charity of your choice (from a list of Odd Pears-approved charities). Since when was shopping for socks so fun? oddpears.com/pages/one-pear-one-dollar
While you’ll find several ways you can help the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) on their website, one of the best is all about the animals. The WWF offers consumers the chance to “adopt” an endangered animal such as a snow leopard or orangutan. When you adopt, you’ll receive a certificate (or a fluffy toy, if you upgrade your adoption), and your contribution will go towards saving these endangered animals before it’s too late. wwf.org.au
We all have a friend who has been so moved by the allure of George Clooney that they’ve caved and bought themselves a Nespresso machine. And now, said Nespresso machine is forcing them to buy plastic Nespresso pods, which can’t be good for the environment. Enter: Crema Joe. Crema Joe sells sustainable coffee machine accessories, including eco-friendly coffee capsules. In fact, the capsules offer up a one-two punch. Not only can you reuse each capsule, doing away with plastic altogether, but they also allow you to use ground coffee from a wide range of brands, not just Nespresso. Your friend will thank you. cremajoe.com.au
If you know someone who is suffering from the symptoms of extreme business this holiday season, there’s a quick and easy way to help. Buy them a lunch (or two or three) from Two Good, which sells celebrity-chef designer lunches that come in cute (and oh-so-trendy) jars. Everyone loves food, and with items such as “Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Salad” on the menu, it’s not hard to see why. But how does Two Good give back? Well, this is a doozy. For every lunch sold, another lunch is donated to a domestic violence shelter in Australia. It’s hard to think of a more rewarding gift than that. twogood.com.au
Maybe you know someone who has just moved into a brand-new place. Maybe you know someone who’s been redecorating. Or maybe you know someone who just loves their creature comforts. Well, that person deserves a blanket from Seljak Brand. Seljak Brand makes recycled merino wool blankets in Tasmania using offcuts from the factory floor at Australia’s oldest wool mill. This sustainable practice is known as “closed-loop recycling,” which is defined as returning the material to the original process. That’s the good news. The even better news is that for every ten blankets sold, Seljak Brand donates one to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Victoria. seljakbrand.com.au
Last, but by no means least, one of the best ways to give back this holiday season – or at any time of year – is to volunteer/donate to your community or the world. Numerous charities and non-profits look for volunteers to donate time to their efforts. Other charities, such as Lifeline, encourage donations of physical goods such as clothes, books and furniture. Finally, you could donate toys to charities such as The Smith Family, which will pass those toys on to a child in need this Christmas.