Giving to help people recover when disaster strikes
Giving in response to:
The Indonesian Earthquake and Tsunami:
- Christian Aid
- World Vision
- CAFOD and the Salvation Army have information and a way to donate to more general emergency funds, some of which will be used to respond in the Philippines.
- The Charlotte Observer has a list of organisations accepting donations for relief and rebuilding.
Live in a way that helps to reduce future climate risks
Some of the most effective ways to do this are
- switching to a green energy supplier for our electricity and gas – it’s easy and has a significant impact. An average UK household switching to renewable energy for its electricity would reduce its emissions by about 1.4 tonnes a year. (Data: Average UK domestic electricity consumption; Climate Stewards footprint calculator). You can also work on making your home more energy efficient … saving emissions and money.
- not flying unless it’s absolutely necessary. The difference it can make in your footprint is truly astonishing. A return flight to New York adds about 1.7 tonnes to your footprint, Orlando 2.1 tonnes, Rio de Janeiro 2.8 tonnes, and Sydney? A whopping 5 tonnes. By contrast, Eurostar to Paris comes in at just … 4.1 kg. (Climate Stewards footprint calculator, Eurostar)
- using public transport, taking advantage of some of the amazing new technologies in electric vehicles (see our piece on electric cars and the information from the Energy Saving Trust) or getting exercise on our bikes or on foot for shorter journeys
- eating less meat … or switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet
All of this becomes even more significant if we encourage others. What if your church encouraged people to switch to green energy and ten families did?
We can encourage our Government to increase its ambitions on carbon reduction, help Britain adapt to a changing climate, and work to ensure that other people have what they need to develop sustainably and to adapt.
- Hope for the Future is a leading advocacy charity that helps people develop positive relationships with their MPs around climate issues. They have great advice on how to approach and hold good conversations with MPs (contact us for a copy of their handbook) as well as issue briefings covering topics from health and climate change to decarbonisation of heating and the encouragement of renewable energy.
And we can encourage businesses to act responsibly on climate issues:
- The Oxford Martin Principles for Climate-Conscious Investment “provide a framework for engagement between climate-conscious investors and companies across the global economy.” It focuses on planning for net zero emissions – which is something that both governments and businesses need to have at the heart of their strategies.
- Christian Aid’s Big Shift campaign is calling on UK banks to stop investing in fossil fuels.
- Operation Noah’s Bright Now campaign has information on divestment.
Make a Difference at Christmas
Three ways that your Christmas celebrations can show love of neighbours near and far
Send a card to someone imprisoned for their beliefs
It’s just a card – but it’s more than that, too. It’s a sign to someone imprisoned for their beliefs that they’re not forgotten. A reminder to those who have imprisoned the person that other people care about his or her well-being. And for some (see guidelines) a welcome message of Christmas hope.
Christian Solidarity offers the ‘Connect and Encourage’ guide with brief biographies of people who would welcome cards and guidelines on what to write.
Give alternative and/or ethical gifts
The past decade has seen huge growth in the giving of “alternative gifts”. The idea is simple and effective: you donate to a charity as a gift to someone here; the charity uses your donation to assist the people and communities it serves; and you are able to give the recipient here a card or other token explaining the gift and the good that it has enabled. Many charities have alternative gift programmes: you can find a selection listed below. Check the websites to see what they offer and how each programme works.
- CAFOD‘s World Gifts
- Christian Aid‘s Present Aid
- Oxfam‘s Oxfam Unwrapped
- Rope‘s Lifeline Gifts
- Traidcraft‘s Gifts for Life
- World Vision‘s Must-Have Gifts
Use Local Organic Animal-Friendly and Fairtrade foods in your Christmas celebrations
Celebrate with food that helps producers and their communities earn a decent livelihood and that doesn’t ‘cost the earth’ in terms of sustainability!