No matter your religion or lack thereof – this time of the year carries with it a strong message of kindness toward others! For some people this involves their spiritual beliefs, for others it simply marks the end of a year and a time to take stock and appreciate those around us. This special holiday season article is inspired by Planet Ark’s message of More Love, Less Stuff.
Here are my tips to keep that spirit of loving kindness going all year round!
C is for cruelty-free
Every day feels like Christmas when we’re making life better for our animal friends! The Gift of Kindness is a beautiful book by Pam Ahern from Edgar’s Mission and a great reminder of the wonders of a cruelty-free life.
H is for hope
With a little bit of thought, your purchasing choices can bring hope to those in need and beauty to your life. By purchasing one of the many gorgeous designs available from Arthouse Meath for instance, you’re supporting artists with severe epilepsy and learning difficulties.
R is for reduce, reuse and recycle
It’s so easy for us to get trapped in a cycle of consumerism, so it can be a beautiful relief to shift our focus to more sustainable options. One small step would be to cover gifts given throughout the year with recycled or better yet reusable wrapping.
I is for inspiring others
Beautiful ethical fashion can be a lovely subtle way to inspire those around us! This chic 100% organic cotton top was designed by Serge DeNimes. Profits from this tee go toward the Environmental Justice Foundation’s projects, which aim to protect people and planet.
S is for sustainable fashion choices
When you feel you can’t avoid a new purchase there are so many amazing ethical brands to fall in love with. Tools like the free Good On You app make finding a sustainably chic option oh so easy! The app is available now in Australia and New Zealand. Located in North America? They’re currently crowdfunding to bring the app to Canada and the US.
T is for taking action!
There’s no need to wait for the holiday season to consider the welfare of those less fortunate than us! If there’s a cause that’s near and dear to your heart – why not find a way to take action? In 2017 I’ll once again be participating in Fashion Revolution to shine a light on the humanitarian issues within the fashion industry.
M is for mindfulness
Have you ever been entranced by the wonder of a sunset? Completely engrossed in a conversation? Fully aware of the taste and texture of a piece of fruit? Being mindful of even the smallest of blessings can help you create a kinder life. Of course it’s not a requirement but there is an app for that 😉 Happier encourages people to share the things that make them smile.
A is for artisans
There are so many benefits to purchasing items handmade by artisans working under ethical conditions and being paid a fair wage. Not only do you end up with a beautifully crafted product, you also have the opportunity to support:
- traditional skills and cultural traditions;
- empowerment and financial independence for women;
- education and health for the wider local community.
The Dharma Door, for example, brings you stunning bags and homewares crafted by artisans in Bangladesh and India.
S is for saving our threatened species
Next time you buy something I invite you to ask – how does this purchase affect wildlife? It’s amazing how deeply our shopping choices can have far reaching implications. Thankfully there are options out there that actually make a positive difference. One great example is Etiko’s Thongs for Good, which are made from a blend of natural and recycled rubber under fair conditions. You can choose thongs to help a variety of conservation organisations including The Wilderness Society, Sea Shepherd and Free The Bears.