Life may feel a bit limited at the moment, but your horizons don’t need to be. There are still numerous goals you can set, strive for and achieve during the year ahead. And what better way to kick 2021 off in the right direction than by choosing some doable feel-good targets? Here’s some inspiration to get you started on your new year’s resolutions in an ethical way.
1 Focus on your wellbeing one step at a time
Exercise is a time-tested way to escape the stresses and strains of life, as well as staying healthy. But it’s often easier to get off the sofa if you’ve a specific goal in mind. Oxfam’s poverty-busting challenge events will continue throughout the year ahead, and with walks, runs and cycles, there’s something for all abilities whether you set your own goal in our ethical fitness challenge or take on a marathon – find out more about events near you now.
2 Learn a new skill or five
One of the many things we’ve rediscovered during lockdown is the joy of making and doing. Many of us have taken up timeless hobbies like baking, sewing, and growing our own veg. Thankfully, with so much information and expertise online, it’s easy to learn and hone a new skill. Fancy sewing? Love Your Clothes has lots of free tutorials and you can buy preloved fabrics and patterns in the Oxfam Online Shop. If music’s more your thing, we sell instruments and sheet music too. As for cooking and gardening, our extensive book section has all the inspiration you need to get creative.
3 Give time
As well as presenting numerous challenges, the pandemic has brought out the best in many communities, with people pulling together to ensure neighbours have the help they need. It’s highlighted the true power of unity and of giving some of your time to help others. If you’d like to do more of the same, charities always need volunteers. Volunteering in our shops is just one of several ways you can help Oxfam fight poverty with every hour of your time you give.
4 Read more
Bombarded with boxsets it’s easy to rely on telly when we get time to relax. But reading is an incredibly powerful way to unwind. In fact, a study by the University of Sussex showed reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. Making it great reason to make reading a resolution priority, particularly when you can buy books second hand, saving money and supporting a good cause. Fiction, history, biographies – our shops and online book section stock them all. And every book will be even more enjoyable knowing you’ve helped create more happy endings around the world.
5 Reduce your eco impact (and spending)
Want to play a genuine role in fighting the massive environmental footprint of fashion? You needn’t wait for the next Second Hand September – make saying ‘yes to second-hand’ part of your new year’s resolutions and you can start right now. With a new season approaching, buying preloved clothing is a great way to update your wardrobe with affordable designer labels and original looks. You’ll save even more money in the January sales too.
6 Be the change you want to see
As the past year has shown, the actions of every single person can make a difference. So what better theme for a 2021 new year resolution than the power of individual action? Whatever cause is close to your heart there’ll be something you can do, right now, to fuel positive change. Support Oxfam and you’ll stand with the world’s poorest people –families facing unimaginable challenges, of which the pandemic is just one. Whether you make a donation, become a fundraiser, support our campaigns or volunteer in our shops, you’ll join a global movement of people determined to eradicate poverty for everyone.
2020 may not be your typical Christmas, but there are still plenty of ways you can make it special for the little people in your life, full of magic and wonder. In fact, the limits we face could give rise to real creativity and a Christmas unlike any other. You can also make this Christmas extra special by making it a little greener, helping to protect the planet and future for your children and for people all over the world. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1 Create a magical atmosphere minus the plastic
Want Christmas to feel as festive and sparkling as possible? You needn’t invest in yet more plastic baubles and throwaway tinsel. These days, there are so many great ideas out there for recycled and upcycled DIY decorations –these simple paper hearts are as lovely as anything shop-bought. You could also ramp up the eco festive factor with recycled paper chains – this easy National Trust guide shows how versatile and pretty they can be. Or if you’d prefer not to DIY, go for new-but-recycled decorations – this beautiful bee garland is a great way to weave a little wildlife into the proceedings.
2 Put on your own Christmas pantomime
Heading to a Christmas show could be tricky for some this year, but that needn’t stop the fun. Create your own make shift mini theatre at home and make the stars of the show upcycle style –here’s how to make a sock puppet dog for starters. Then just let your kids’ imaginations do the rest. You’ll create some magical memories and do the planet a favour by giving old socks a new lease of life rather than binning them. You could also make theatre tickets using old Christmas cards and serve up ethical chocolate treats in the interval.
A huge benefit of spending more time at home together is that you have, well, more time together. Make the most of it with some quality one-to-one time with the kids. Youngest love story time? Set up an extra-long reading stint with a few treats and their favourite tales – or surprise them with some ‘new’ stories. Pint-sized Bake Off fan in the family? Cooking together is always fun and our online cookery book section has all the inspiration you need. Or why not organise something outdoors? A festive picnic can be magical, even if it’s just in the garden, complete with snuggly blankets and warming hot chocolate. Older children might even enjoy turning back the clock with a brilliant retro board game.
5 Greenify the four-gift rule
When it comes to choosing gifts for children, the ‘want, need, wear, read’ approach to shopping is a handy starting point if you want to buy truly useful gifts and reduce waste. Whether you buy from just one category or more, go a step further eco-wise by ensuring gifts are a bit greener too. You could buy second-hand – Oxfam Online Shop has thousands of options for the ‘wear’ gift including snuggly knitwear, coats and party dresses. Likewise the ‘read’ category – check out the children’s book section for stories by the likes of Jane Donaldson, David Walliams and Cressida Cowell. Given the challenges the world continues to face, you could also add a fifth ‘present for another’ category, with a life-changing charity gift such as A Super Goat from the Oxfam Unwrapped range.
Want some green gift ideas for the grown-ups in your life too? Check out our Ethical Christmas Gift guide to get inspiration for everyone on your shopping list!
There are lots of ways to help people and planet this Christmas, and choosing ethical gifts is one of them. Handy then, that sustainable Christmas presents now come in all shapes and sizes and there really is something for everyone – even the trickiest and pickiest relatives. Personal and packed full of impact, the right gift can make your loved one smile and help make the festive season as feel-good as possible. Here are some of our favourites.
Along with everything else, the state of the natural world has come into even greater focus this year, encouraging many of us to do more to protect it. Thankfully there are lots of ways to support wildlife from home –and some great ethical Christmas gifts that can help. Friend into wildlife? Give this brilliant butterfly house or bee and bug house from the Eden Project. Or choose a beautiful bird-house, lovingly handmade from recycled paper or saris. If your loved one enjoys reading about the wonders of nature, Oxfam Online Shop has lots of preloved books on wildlife, gardening and more. We also have brand new nature-themed gifts like this enchanted wildlife calendar and, for fledgling conservationists, The Sea Book is a great introduction to marine wildlife.
Sweet treats always go down well at Christmas and Sourced By Oxfam has found some delicious stuff –we’re talking chocolate, dates, nuts, the lot. If your loved one prefers doing the cooking themselves, beer bread kits make great gifts–you simply add your brew, mix and bake. You can also choose from hundreds of preloved cookery books in the Oxfam Online Shop with options to suit everyone’s needs and tastes from vegetarians to gluten-free. Keep your eye out for the likes of Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Mary Berry, Jamie Oliver and more. You can also find great preloved gifts for the kitchen and dining room. And this handy new recipe diary to keep tabs on all they’ve tried.
Lockdown. Who’d have thought it would be all about the loo roll again? But if you’re even slightly tempted to start filling your trolley, take a minute – as we edge towards the festive season, you might be better off stockpiling some poo instead. Sounds smelly? Don’t worry! Our ‘Pile Of Poo’ charity gift cards are odour free and can fund training in effective, eco-friendly composting – converting pig-poo to bio-gas for families who really need it. It is just one of a wide range of Oxfam Unwrapped charity gift cards, all of which do something amazing by helping people to live free from poverty. Each one you buy is guaranteed to make someone smile this Christmas, here are a few reasons why.
1. Because… we probably won’t be able to do much, but our gifts can
From poo power to life-changing chickens to clean safe water, every Oxfam Unwrapped charity gift card represents crucial work to support people to live life free from poverty. And what better time to give them than this Christmas? If we’re stuck indoors again, it will feel all the better knowing that the gifts we give are out there, creating real change and boosting happiness around the world. You can read more about the impact of Oxfam Unwrapped gifts here.
2. Because… it’s a great alternative to throwaway gifting
If, like many people, you’re hoping to make this Christmas a little more sustainable, your choice in gifts is a great place to start. Plastic stocking-fillers, turkey leftovers, mountains of wrapping – Christmas can be BIG on waste. But charity gift cards are a great alternative to love-it-one-minute-chuck-it-the-next presents. From livelihood boosters like a Fantastic Farm Yard to game-changers like the Moomin’s themed Equality For All, charity gift cards have the power to help people transform their entire futures and those of their loved ones. What better way to make Christmas last?
3. Because… you can shop from the comfort of your sofa
Helping others feels good. Fact. So, giving charity gifts is a great way to make people smile and cram the meaning back into Christmas. By choosing carefully, you can make sure presents for family and friends feel really personal too. Thoughtful gifts will mean even more this Christmas, particularly if you’re apart. Whether your dad’s into gardening, your sister fights for what’s right or your best friend loves bees, we’ve got a charity gift card to match. If you really want to send your loved one a hug, check out this lovely Moomin keyring too.
5. Because… we know that unity matters more than ever
The pandemic has proven the power of acting together, loud and clear. As well as the actions we all take as individuals, charity gift cards are another way to be there for others. By giving charity gifts like Food For A Family and Shelter And Warmth, you and your loved ones can stand with women, men and children facing unimaginable hardship. And together, we can make this Christmas mean even more.
We all know this Christmas will be different. Very different. But while we may not be able to celebrate in quite the same way, it doesn’t have to mean missing out.
The unique situation that is Christmas 2020 provides an opportunity to rethink traditions, create new ones, and put the meaning back into Christmas like never before. Here are just a few ways you can sprinkle some magic during the festive season – and how Oxfam can help.
If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s the power of acting together. The festive season is a great time to do just that, uniting to help others – even if you can’t meet in person. Not sure what you’d like for Christmas? Why not create your own fundraiser on Facebook and ask for contributions. It’s a really special way to do good this year ( Or you could join people across the country in creating your own ‘reverse advent calendar’. Shopping with Oxfam is another way to make a difference – every item you buy will help families living in poverty, with lots of new ethical products and gifts as well as preloved fashion, homeware and more.
Looking for more inspiration? Like this post on our twitter feed to get notifications of more inspirational, sustainable Christmas ideas, and special promotions throughout November and December with no need to search!
Each year in the UK we use a shocking 1.2 billion metres of cling film, a product which is very hard to recycle. Beeswax wraps have paved the way for a sustainable alternative, not only are they biodegradable and compostable but the colourful designs are beautiful too.
At Oxfam we stock the wonderful The Beeswax Wrap co, online and in our stores too. Their wraps are handmade using organic GOTS certified cotton, pine resin, organic jojoba oil and locally sourced UK beeswax.
What are the benefits of using them?
100% natural – so no chance of any nasties seeping in to your food.
Reusable – just clean with a little bit of soap and cold water after each use and then use them again! Give them a refresh every 2-3 months to extend their life – more info below on how to do this.
Biodegradable and compostable – once your wrap starts to lose its life you can put it in with your compost or twist it up and use it as a firelighter – cool huh?
Keeps food fresh – the combination of natural ingredients and organic cotton fabric allows the wraps to breathe, meaning your food stays fresh for longer. This extends the life of a loaf of bread by about 3-4 days and your sandwiches won’t be limp and lacklustre come lunch time.
Clingy – pine resin acts as a natural adhesive and the warmth from your hands helps mould the wraps to give a strong seal.
How to clean beeswax wraps
All you have to do is use a splash of gentle washing up liquid and a bit of cool water and voila! They’re ready to go again.
Refreshing your beeswax wrap – electric oven method
To keep your wraps fresh and sticky it’s best to refresh them every few months. Please note this method is only for electric ovens not gas ovens – if you have a gas oven please follow the Iron Refresh Method below.
Refreshing your beeswax wrap – iron method
This method is quick and easy, and perfect for refreshing wraps too big to fit on a tray in your oven, or if you don’t have an electric oven.
If you’re now converted and want to get your hands on some stunning beeswax wraps, click the link below or visit your local Oxfam shop.