Becoming a parent introduces you to a multitude of new and amazing experiences. And on a purely practical level, it also opens you up to a whole world of new products to buy for the for the baby. Even if you’re lucky to be given lots of things, as we were, there’s still so much you need – or, let’s face it, want – to get. And of course the shopping doesn’t stop when you give birth. There’s all the bits and pieces you didn’t think about or know about, the panic purchases made at 3am when they just won’t sleep, and all those things as they get older. We experienced this again this week, as Eliza’s moses basket is now on the cosy side for a baby who likes to direct traffic in her sleep so we’ve finally got round to buying her a cot. And now we need new sheets, and baby-safe bumpers, and a mobile, and so it goes on.
We conducted a big chunk of our baby shopping online, basically for ease and convenience; as we live in London we don’t have a car, so it’s much easier to get everything delivered to our door than have to carry it home on the train (especially when you’re nine months pregnant and even lifting a magazine is exhausting).
So I was really interested when I was contacted about Give as you Live and the launch of a beta toolbar for Google Chrome. Give as you Live is a new way of raising money for charity when you shop online. When you buy things on participating websites, the retailer will donate a percentage of your bill, on your behalf, to your chosen charity. Once you’ve downloaded the toolbar and set up an account you don’t have to do anything extra or spend any of your money, it’s that simple. The new beta toolbar for Google Chrome sits at the top of the browser and tells you if a website you’re looking at is involved, along with details about how much money it will donate against what you spend.
Over 2,000 retailers are currently taking part, including major names like Amazon, John Lewis, Debenhams and Tesco. There’s a full list here, along with the amount of money they will donate – up to 8% of your bill in some cases. In terms of the charity, you can pick and choose different ones whenever you like, and all UK registered charities are eligible to receive donations (I picked one close to me and my family, Parkinsons UK).
It doesn’t involve any extra effort or cash, and it’s for online shopping you’re doing already – you can download the Beta version from www.giveasyoulive.com/download. As I said, it’s perfect for parents-to-be and new parents due to the sheer amount of stuff you need to buy; as a reflection of this there’s also a specific campaign with Brit Mums called Mums for Good. It’s also ideal for all those post-pregnancy clothes purchases you absolutely need to make now you can finally wear normal clothes, but the less said about my credit card bill, the better.