Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An ethical tree

The Guardian has a feature on Christmas presents called What did Santa bring?, interviewing eight mothers and their children about the big day in. Here is mother Matilda Lee:
Being ethical informs my whole worldview. I’m an editor at the Ecologist, I’ve written a book on ethical fashion, we have homemade decorations, buy an ethical tree, eat locally sourced, organic food. When the children were little, it was easy to buy them green gifts, but now Dimitri’s six, it’s more difficult. He watches TV, he sees adverts, all his friends talk about what they’re getting for Christmas. He wants stuff.
This year, as well as a stocking full of arts and crafts and a satsuma, and an adopted snow leopard from WWF, I’m afraid he got a Nintendo DS. I am troubled by how it was made, by whom, and what’s going to happen to it when, inevitably, he finds it uninteresting. Also, I worry about the impact it’ll have on him. We get him outside as much as possible, and the last thing he needs is something to keep him inside focused on a screen.
We’re in the years when our kids are into the idea of presents under the tree. When Dimitri’s older, I’d like to buy him a day out for Christmas. There’s a place near us that does cooking classes – he’d love that. If we lived in a like-minded community where everyone bought ethically, it would be perfect, but, for now, I don’t think it would be healthy for him to be very different from his peers.
Monitor: Rod Liddle


Paul said...

Is it ethical to entrust a snow leopard to a six year-old?

Stephen Stratford said...


Peter said...

Does she write her Guardian columns inside, on a computer, or does she write them outside, on the backs of fallen leaves and ask the pigeons of London to deliver them to the editor's desk?

I think the public deserve to be told.

Stephen Stratford said...

Quite. The Amazon blurb for her book ends, "This book will allow you to look great but also feel good about your impact on other people and the planet as a whole."

The main thing, of course, is to feel good.

Johnny Twosheds said...

Foreskin alert! Check out Austin Barry in the comments:

Peter said...

Some timely advice for Dimitri:

"Though in time you might find this one a little bit more annoying."