Christmas is just around the corner. It is time to be with family and friends, or with whom everyone wants. In addition to being a “time of love and peace,” it is a time of the year when consumerism soars. For this reason, we want to bring you 17 tricks to make this Christmas more responsible and sustainable.
- For your family meals, buy local products. By this way you will avoid the pollution caused by transport over long distances.
- Buy foods that use the least amount of packaging (plastic, paper). A good alternative is to buy products in bulk or in the market.
- Reuse the food you eat or freeze what you will not consume at that time. Do not throw it! And if you do not have room at home, think that there are many social lunchrooms that will appreciate some food.
- Use non-disposable dishes, glasses and cutlery: instead of buying and using plastic glasses and plates with Christmas motifs, use plates and cutlery of reusable material as well as crystal glasses.
- Do not buy natural fabric products. Opt for ethically-produced wool, silk or textiles made from plants (suggestion from Cécile).
- As much as possible, wrap presents with reusable bags or boxes, so you will have more options to store your things.
- Choose to make hand gifts, with reused materials or those you have at home. Aside from being something much more personal, you will save money and contribute to generate less waste.
- Avoid gifting puppies or other pets. Despite the temptation to make our children happy, having a dog is a huge responsibility, and that is why we should talk to them before taking such an important step. Many begin with a lot of attention, but they usually get tired, because they associate it more with a toy than with a life partner. It is important to remember that in the later months of Christmas is when more dogs are abandoned.
- Before buying a gift, you should make sure that its processing has been respectful with the environment and human beings.
- When you go shopping, be sure to bring your own bags (other than plastic ones). By this way you will be contributing to reduce the problem of plastic.
- Find local handicraft toys made from biodegradable materials, without much packaging and without batteries. You will help to take care of the environment. In addition, you will be sure to be paying the product and not its advertising.
- Plan your Christmas shopping: make a list of everything you have to buy and the shops you want to go. Use public transport to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, or organise a trip with your family and/or friends to take just one car.
- Do not leave the lights on all day long. Turn them off at night or when you are not at home. You will save money and avoid light pollution.
- Do not have the heating on at full power all day long. Turn it off at night and turn it on only when it is really necessary. You will save money and contribute to reduce air pollution.
- Use synthetic, wooden or recycled-material Christmas trees. Thousands of trees are planted each year, although they have been planted specifically for these dates, occupying large areas of forest that could be used to house native forests. A synthetic tree will last for years and you will avoid the annoyances of the authentic trees, as they are the great amount of fallen leaves or the resin. Besides, it is sinister to cut a tree to have it for only two weeks at home, languishing slowly… Do not you think?
- Avoid collecting or buying moss to make the Bethlehem. Moss is a plant that takes many years to develop and plays a key ecological factor against erosion and microhabitat for other species as it retains moisture. You can use sand, grass or use a green background.
- Do not use wild plants as a Christmas decoration. Some plants such as the butcher’s-broom, holly and mistletoe are native plants, some of them with serious conservation problems due to the massive extraction for decorative uses during Christmas. Try to use cultived plants or be creative and create mistletoe with cardboard and drawings. It can be a good activity with your children during the holidays!
These are our 17 tricks to be more sustainable and responsible this Christmas. And you, what do you do to be more sustainable and responsible? Leave your comments!