GIFTS AND HOLIDAYS

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas perhaps... means a little bit more! – Grinch

How much we look forward to that time of year! Whether it is Christmas or Easter, the holidays are always a reason for joy for the entire family. Although it is the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas is not the most eco-friendly, being more than an occasion for joy and closeness to loved ones, but an occasion for exaggerated shopping: food, clothes and gifts.

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”The best gifts come from the heart, not the store.”

Sarah Dessen

 

Tips for an eco-friendly Christmas:

  • Choose gifts that are useful and sustainable! We all panic before Christmas and end up buying gifts (trifles and nonsense) that no one really wants. Choose brands that care about the environment and don't forget that the most beautiful gift you can give someone is the time spent together (tickets to the show, a dinner, a visit).

  • Opt for gift wrapping paper made of eco-friendly, simple and non-laminated materials. Adhesive tape, ribbons and glitter-coated paper cannot be recycled, so, if you can, stay away from them. Use brown paper and string with a few twigs of eucalyptus, fir or cinnamon sticks stuck in a row. It is a durable, but also beautiful packaging!

  • At the Christmas table, eliminate everything that is disposable, especially plastic, and also: don't buy too much food!

  • Natural or plastic? We talk about the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Christmas, the Christmas tree. If you choose a natural fir tree, choose one from a nursery or one in a pot, so you can replant it. If you want an artificial fir, don't forget that you have to use it for approximately 20 times to be more sustainable than a natural one. Of course you can be creative and make your own hand-made fir from wood, books, branches or felt.

  • An ingenious and sentimental gift can be a video made by yourself, either with family members, with your significant other, with your pet or with holiday memories.

  • Instead of an Advent calendar, you can make a Santa Claus box where you can collect non-perishable food or clothes every day of December. On December 24, you can give this box to somebody who is in great need of it.

 

Tips for an eco-friendly Easter:

  • Beware of chocolate overconsumption! At Easter, a lot of chocolate is consumed (chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, chocolate chickens, etc.) packed in non-recyclable materials. Buy chocolate without any packaging from local manufacturers. This type of chocolate is of very good quality.

  • Real eggs are fun to paint and decorate, but they spoil pretty quickly. Think how many cute, boiled eggs are thrown away and wasted! We all get tired of eating boiled eggs at some point. Instead, try to decorate wooden eggs. And if you still want to paint a few eggs - be careful not to overdo it and use natural dyes (onion leaves work great).

  • Beware of food waste! A super sustainable idea is to offer your friends, neighbors or people in need food that you no longer eat, on the second day of Easter. Everyone who visits you must leave with a small package of food.

  • Keep gift boxes and bags and reuse them.

  • Donate to a cause instead of a gift or donate your birthday.

  • Consider making the gifts yourself: videos, cakes, greeting cards, babysitting, subscriptions, cards.

 
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GOOD TO KNOW

• The New Year's Eve fireworks show affects the environment, but also people's health. They contain harmful chemicals, but also heavy metals. Inhalation of fine particles resulting from fireworks can lead to short or long term health problems.

• Wrap gifts in newspapers or magazines.