Winter is here, and our landscape gets full of umbrellas, coats and scarfs while we dream of pictures of White Christmas full of sledges and snowpeople.

Last year, at our entry “Plastic-free Christmas“, we gave you some easy tips in order to reduce our plastic impact during these special days. This year we want to stress this message to have Green Christmas, a more environmentally-friendly Christmas.

It is not about spoiling anyone’s good time, nor about being a doomsayer. It is not a matter of inserting clichés, or asking for the impossible. However, reality tells us that, these days, we are so immersed in our role as consumers, that we are not able to perceive the magnitude of the environmental, social and economic problem that we generate, nor our possibilities of action to change it.

For this reason, we want to propose simple and practical ideas that should drive us to think over it before leaping on every year’s orgy of shopping:

Before buying anything … stop and ask yourself:

We always say that the first “R” s are Rest and Rethink -stop and plan-:

  • Do I really need it, and how many do I already have?
  • How many times am I going to use it, and how long will it last?
  • Could I borrow it from a friend or family member?
  • Can it be maintained, cleaned or repaired?
  • Is it a quality product, with programmed obsolescence, disposable?
  • Are the raw materials, they used to make it, renewable? Is it made from recyclable materials?
  • How am I going to get rid of it, once I’ve finished using it? Is it recyclable, compostable?
  • Have you already got anything, an alternative, to replace it?

At shopping time:

  • Avoid over-packing and plastic bags.
  • Flee from sexist and warlike toys.
  • Promote positive games instead of destruction-killing games.
  • Edge off industrial ready-cooked food. Commit to homemade food.
  • Avoid plastic packaged or canned food – because all cans are plasticized inside. The best option is to buy in bulk or glass preserving jars.
  • Do without plastic or laminate gift wrapping paper.

At the time to celebrate:

  • Avoid confetti, especially if it is made of plastic.
  • Do not use snow or snowpeople made of poliespan.
  • Run away from plastic tinsels and garlands.
  • Trees, much better planted. Plastic ones, better in the store. Use your imagination.
  • And remember to turn the lights off: Mother Christmas, Santa, Basque Olentzero, French Père Noël, Christmas gift-bringer, Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, Christmas elfs…, or the very Winter Solstice, do not need them to leave you presents.

We hope these tips will help you to have happy and family holidays, in a more natural, environmentally-friendly and healthy way. Our celebrations and our joy must never be to the detriment of the Planet.