Monday, October 19, 2009

Socially Just Christmas Shopping Ideas

You can act on the Catholic Social Doctrine of solidarity with people around the planet by making purchases direct from farmers and artisans, ensuring that they receive a living wage from the sale of their products. Fair Trade programs also help farmers with sustainable farming methods, so you are also contributing to the Catholic Social Doctrine of caring for God's creation, too! And the Catholic Social Doctrines of the workers' rights and support of families also apply. You are really following in the footsteps of Jesus with your purchases. For the past two years, I have bought all gifts for out of state relatives from fair trade agencies -- the quality is very good. The "Divine" chocolate brand is superb.

Equal Exchange ( offers fairly traded coffee, tea, chocolate and snacks, supporting small farmer co-ops using sustainable farming methods.

Oxfam America Unwrapped ( makes it easy to give a donation in someone’s name; let’s face it, our adult relatives don’t need another fruitcake and this way we do not generate a lot of wrapping paper for landfills.

Ten Thousand Villages ( offers delightful, handcrafted products from artisans around the world (jewelry, journals, soaps, toys).

Alter Eco Fair Trade ( offers fair trade and organic foods (coffee, grains, teas, olive oils, chocolate) while supporting small farmers who are preserving local agricultural biodiversity.

-- Courtesy of the Diocese of Oakland, Social Justice Resources webpage

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