One of the theories for the origins of the term Boxing Day is that this was the day when alms or charitable boxes were traditionally distributed. I thought this might be a good time to talk about the role that charity or giving can play in furthering sustainability.
Today is that day that I like to think about giving for the coming year. But it is of course important to think about charity not as one-off giving, but as a way to behave throughout the whole of the year.
The key thing to remember about charity is that it should not be viewed as something undertaken for our own gratification. It is about giving without wish for reward. And it is not about how much we are able to afford to give. It is about our intentions, and the results achievable through what we are able to give.
Whether we make a one-off donation to a particular charity, donate foods or goods, or set up direct debits to give over the course of the year, giving to the right charities really can help us move towards a better and more sustainable world.
In an ideal world, charity would not be necessary. And I believe we should work towards a fair and equitable world without haves and have nots. But we are not starting from an ideal situation, and existing inequalities can make it more difficult to make the wide and far-reaching changes that are required to move to a net zero, eco-friendly society. So giving in any way that lessens inequalities can move us closer to our goals.
So, whether we donate to social causes, or contribute 1% for the planet, giving can help accelerate positive change and make sure that as we strive for true sustainability, no-one is left behind.