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Activity: Takes place with a fixed time and schedule
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9th December
to 13th January
10 You will earn 10 bronze points for completing this activity.
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Have an Ethical Christmas!

9th December to 13th January
This task challenges you to plan a more sustainable, more ethical Christmas: to think about what you buy, how much you buy, where you buy it, what you eat and what’s in it, and maybe even plan activities that aren’t about consuming things… can you have yourself a Merry Christmas while minimising the costs to other people and the planet?

We’re not asking you to turn into Scrooge this Christmas, but we are setting you a challenge of applying an ethical lens to your festive consumption! Above all, we want you to build your awareness of the often unseen environmental and social dimensions of what we consume, how much ‘stuff’ we buy, where we choose to buy things, what we eat and drink, and what’s in it! At Christmas, we do tend to consume a bit more than usual, so what better time to reflect on this?


One reason we may not often do this is that we simply don’t know which products or brands are more, or less, ethical than others, where things are made, or the ingredients of our food and drink. Adverts and packaging don’t tend to tell us how workers are treated at various stages of the production process, or how much transport is involved before it gets to us. Luckily, the Ethical Consumer Research Association – an independent, not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder co-operative based in Hulme, Manchester – does much of that work for us.


The Ethical Consumer website is a handy resource and includes an ethical shopping guide to find out how particular products, brands and outlets score via various ethical filters – related to the environment, human rights, workers’ rights, politics, how animals are treated, and product sustainability. A good place to start for this challenge is to read their ‘Have Yourself an Ethical Christmas’ guide. Then get thinking about ways that you can make your own Christmas more ethical and sustainable.


You don’t have to produce or submit anything, but we would like you to share your experience with the ‘CrimSoc’ community via our Instagram account (@mcrmetcrimsoc), while tagging in ECRA (@ethical_consumer_magazine).

In A Nutshell...

  • Research... the ethical dimensions of Christmas shopping via the Ethical Consumer website
  • Apply... a sociological lens to the role that consumption plays in our lifestyles and culture
  • Reflect... on how your consumer tastes and habits, at Christmas especially, could be more sustainable and ethically grounded.
  • Choose... gifts, food and drink that do less harm to the environment, wildlife, and other people
  • Share... your experience with the Sociology Department's Instagram account: @mcrmetcrimsoc, and with Ethical Consumer: @ethical_consumer_magazine
  • Earn up to 10 Rise points ... which can be recognised within your degree.


  • call_split 09/12/22 to 23/12/22
    Read the 'Have Yourself an Ethical Christmas' Guide.
    By reading this guide you will gain an overview of some of the key ethical dimensions of Christmas shopping.
  • call_split 09/12/22 to 23/12/22
    Reflect on your own Christmas consumption plans
    This is an important step, as it challenges us to think critically about the ways that our consumption tastes and habits might impact on other people and the planet in ways we didn't previously realise.
  • call_split 09/12/22 to 23/12/22
    Engage your sociological imagination
    This is where you make connections between aspects of your own life and some of the topics and themes you study in your degree.
  • call_split 09/12/22 to 26/12/22
    Make 'ethical' changes to your Christmas plans
    This might not be easy, but do your best to apply this knowledge and understanding to what and how you consume this Christmas.
  • call_split 09/12/22 to 13/01/23
    Share your experience with others!
    This is where you 'capture' your ethical Christmas to earn Rise points, by sharing your experience via the Sociology Department's Instagram account: @mcrmetcrimsoc, and with Ethical Consumer: @ethical_consumer_magazine.