Aaah, Christmas... That bright time when you empty your wallet to give gifts to the whole family, when you eat festive food and when you... pollute a lot. Here are the 11 tips to be green at Christmas!
Christmas, a celebration as magical as it is polluting
Christmas is a much-awaited holiday for young and old alike. We give each other gifts, we put up a luminous tree and festive decorations, we eat a huge meal with our family... And we pollute a lot. Of course, at the level of a single household, there is no problem. But, knowing that many families consume a lot at Christmas (packaging that fills the bins, overconsumption for gifts, food thrown away if meals are not finished, etc.), then we start to have a lot of waste in our hands! But then, how do you make up for all this waste? How can we continue to celebrate Christmas while remaining aware of our environmental impact?
Tips for being green
Avoid buying too far
When we buy gifts for our loved ones, we want the best for them (and that's okay). And, often, to get that best, we buy from Chinese, American, etc. And, buying far means carbon emissions (well, it doesn't rhyme but you see). Indeed, it is most likely planes and/or trucks that will transport the gifts you have ordered. How do you fix that? If possible, buy your gifts locally! Choose shops/sites in your country, in order to limit the use of transport (and therefore CO² emissions) as much as possible.
Pay attention to the materials used
Then, when you buy a gift, make sure to check the manufacturing conditions! What is this article made of? Is it environmentally friendly? These are the questions you need to ask yourself when buying gifts. There's no point in spending your money if it's to finance a company that doesn't fit into sustainable development! But how do you buy responsibly? There are some apps that allow you to do this (like ClearFashion, which allows you to scan barcodes to know the process of making a garment, etc.).
Think about what you're buying
Why not rethink the way we choose our gifts? Let's favor second-hand objects ! You might as well please your loved ones, while bringing objects back to life and paying attention to the environment. It also makes it possible to curb overconsumption in large clothing chains or other brands, which are polluting and unethical. If not... Why not offer an "experience" ? A meal, a weekend, a trip, an activity... Offer your loved ones unforgettable moments, rather than objects that will no longer be used after a few months! And, that way, you are sure not to disappoint!
Use reusable packaging
Seeing the excitement of someone you love as they open their presents is magical. But seeing her open a gift with reusable or recyclable packaging is even better! Whenever you can, favor reusable packaging such as cloth bags. Or recycle! That way, the next time you see old newspapers/papers lying around, you'll know what to do.
3. The Christmas tree
Choosing a natural tree
There is a lot of discussion every year about buying the tree. Should you opt for a synthetic or a real tree? People will probably tell you "a plastic tree is better because you can reuse it every year!" Well, not so sure. Indeed, for a plastic tree to be truly profitable, it must be used every year for at least 20 years (even if in general they are only used for 6 years). So, as ironic as it may seem, you should choose real trees!
What for? There are farms specially dedicated to planting fir trees (in order to resell them for Christmas). Thus, no deforestation is involved. In addition, during their growth (a tree takes between 10 and 20 years to grow), trees release oxygen and absorb CO² – which, by default, is not the case with plastic trees, which are often made far away with materials that are not very eco-friendly.
4. The meal
Your Christmas shopping list is made and you already have all your recipe ideas for the menu. All that's left to do is buy your food... locally ! As mentioned above (in the gifts section for those who followed), there's no need to buy products from distant countries when we have everything (or almost) here! Let's avoid unnecessary carbon emissions and consume locally.
Let's not forget that, if we have to consume locally, we must also consume seasonally! Seasonal foods are generally healthier than imported fruits and vegetables (because the latter lose their vitamins along the way). So, you're promoting local agriculture and the local economy, and you're taking care of yourself and your loved ones. Isn't that a good initiative?
To eat healthy (at Christmas or during the rest of the year), there are apps that can help you: do you know them?
Christmas is a wonderful time to spend with family, friends or alone, as long as you let yourself be carried away by the beauty of this holiday. With all these tips to be green at Christmas, you will now be able to celebrate New Year's Eve without having to feel guilty because of your environmental impact!
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