We vote for the world that we want with our wallets. From the brands we buy into, to how we choose to spend our free time. The UK citizen has more power in their back pocket than they realise. Here’s how you can use that power to help both those less fortunate, and our planet.

1. A tasty morsel

Middle Eastern food has witnessed an unprecedented rise in popularity in the UK in recent years, thanks in no small part to refugees finding a new home on this island. Delve into the legacy and creativity of this social change with the book Takeaway Heritage by Stephen Silverwood. All profits go to charitable causes, and you’ll get a glimpse into the lives of the people that have made their stories part of British culture.

Takeaway Heritage book cover
Credit: Refugee Radio

In a similar vein, invest in this recipe book full of dishes from people living in a refugee camp on Samos Island in Greece. All profits go to helping provide services for those still living in the camp, including language classes and laundry facilities.

2. A little tipple

As much as single use plastic straws are bad business – for the planet, we mean – the alternative paper straw hasn’t had quite the impact we hoped, disintegrating into a pulpy mess after just a few seconds. Luckily, reusable drinking straws are now a thing and these copper ones – an antimicrobial metal to boot – donate profits to Refugee Support Europe. Invest now.

Copper mug and straws
Credit: Rural Handmade via Amazon

If you’re more taken with a cup of tea, check out Nemi Teas, who not only offer biodegradable tea bags but employ refugees to help them integrate in the UK too.

3. Buy a bike, give a bike

Buying a bike from The Bike Project gives you a threefold way to help. Firstly, they’re all refurbished bikes, so you’re up-cycling rather than buying new, and you’ll be swapping out your current mode of transport for one that’s super carbon friendly. Finally, for every bike bought, three are given to refugees to give them independence, as well as the means to access everything from food to healthcare. To quote them:

“…one £300 bike gives us enough cash to supply not one but three refugees with not just a bike, but also lock, lights and helmet to keep them safe on the mean streets of London. Win-win-win.”

www.thebikeproject.co.uk

4. Invest in some art

Artist Salam Noah has depicted the pain and suffering of life as a refugee in a series of paintings sold by Care 4 Calais. After months trying to cross the borders into Europe, Salam has finally resettled in France, but not without suffering both physical and emotional trauma trying to get there. Investing in one of his paintings not only supports those helping the refugee crisis, but hopefully shows Salam that his struggles weren’t completely in vain.

Wall hung painted canvas
Just Another Refugee. Credit: Salam Noah via Care4Calais.org

The Hatch Team