Thursday, October 12, 2006

Do you need it, or just want it ?

An idea for the People as Consumers unit which we shall be doing a small unit on either side of Christmas 2006.
Just been reading 'Wasted': the newsletter which is handed out by an organisation called Waste Watch. It's been hanging around in that big Sainsbury's 'Bag for Life' which I carry around and try to work my way through when I get a moment (which isn't very often!)

They have an activity based around a day called BUY NOTHING DAY.
This is being held on Saturday November the 25th 2006. The aim (of course) is to buy nothing ! More on this in November.
If you do want to buy something for Christmas, you could perhaps get something from Christian Aid's PRESENT AID website. This could be a goat for example, which is one of the best sellers.
It's worth noting, though, that there are issues relating to this type of gift. Apart from anything else, would you be OK if someone said "I bought a goat on your behalf" or would you be saying "OK, that's fine... now where's my present ?"
Saw a great lecture at the GA Conference this year by Professor Peter Jackson from Sheffield University which explored some of these issues.

The idea of Christian Aid's site is to produce what are called VIRTUAL GIFTS. This description is taken from the Christian Aid website.
Virtual gifts are a revolutionary new kind of retail philanthropy. Put more simply, they're unusual gifts that have the power to transform lives. Ranging from a can of worms to clean water for an entire community, you can buy a virtual gift for friends, relatives, or even yourself. Of course we won't send the worms to you. You'll get a lovely card to present to the ones you love. The worms will go to someone who can really use them
We're all concerned about wastage and corruption when making charitable donations. We want to know that our gifts are not going to be squandered along the way. The advantage of virtual gifts is that they allow you to choose how your money will be spent in the fight against poverty. For example, if you buy a goat your money will be spent directly on livestock and agricultural projects throughout the developing world. Purchase a tap and your money will go to clean water projects that fight disease and make crops grow.

Another resource I received today was also from Christian Aid, which is called "The Same Old Pants ?" and also looks at the idea of whether what we want is actually what we need.. A good poster and assembly ideas as well as lesson resources.
Worth investigating.
And if you're one of those A* students, you should be aware of the ideas on the Geographical Association website on People as Consumers.

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