Is it just me or does this year feel like Christmas has started even earlier than usual? No, this isn’t about being a bah humbug, it’s an actual question. Maybe it’s because I’ve got small kids who are very tuned in to anything Christmassy (it signals naughty food and presents after all). Is it because 1st December fell on a Sunday (which gave everyone the license to introduce Christmas from the very first of the month). Or am I more acutely aware of brands fuelling consumerism after the work of Extinction Rebellion and the Global Climate Strike?
Christmas is a time people celebrate with friends and family, buy and receive gifts and an opportunity to let our hair down. I’m all for it, don’t get me wrong but a little bit inside me dies each year when I see the innovative products that are on offer. Shame on you, beauty brands for your advent calendars – 24 travel sizes products which are all too small to recycle and create excess packaging.
My two girls will be writing letters to Father Christmas shortly so I’ve decided to write mine too and I hope he receives it. He’s arguably got one of the biggest global reaches after all and therefore the power to create change 🙂
Dear Father Christmas,
I’ve been a good girl this year, I promise. I’ve been cutting my carbon footprint and trying my hardest to live more sustainably. Please reward me by reading my Christmas list.
I want something meaningful, which has longevity (handmade and local is always good). And whatever that is, please limit the plastic packaging, or get rid of the plastic altogether. I don’t want to feel the guilt of not being able to recycle or reuse it.
If you insist on giving me silly, novelty gifts please buy them second hand or regift ones from last year. I will only give them away myself and there’s plenty of that crap already on this planet. Have you seen the Do the Green Thing – Ungifted campaign?
I love clothes…but please read the label first and give me clothes which aren’t made from harmful fibres (80% of textiles globally are synthetic). If something has polyester or acrylic in it, you can at least give me a micro plastic fibre collector for my washing machine to prevent the plastic leaching. If you don’t know my size, please give me a voucher so that I don’t end up contributing to the added congestion/pollution from delivery vans on the road.
Candles and ‘smellies’ are pretty popular at Christmas but they’re all contributing to indoor air pollution. Those pesky VOCs from deodorants, perfumes, air fresheners and candles aren’t nice for our lungs and a decent air purifier (with a HEPA filter) is pretty expensive.
And wrap everything in last year’s paper, or at least paper that can actually be recycled and has NO glitter please (it may look pretty but it’s another plastic which will get washed into the ocean).
I know it’s cheesy but how about taking a leaf out of Stella Artois’ book. Their advert ‘Best present is being present’ is great. Personally, the best present this year would be the gift of time and eating food that doesn’t harm me or the planet!