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