Natural Resources and Waste

Questions for a ‘green’ Christmas

Consumption is deeply-rooted within our culture and at Christmas this often becomes an unconscious impulse. It’s important to shop carefully to avoid unnecessary things and to buy responsibly (in environmental, social, economic and emotional terms).

Amics de la Terra believes that we can have a much greener Christmas by asking ourselves 4 simple questions before buying anything.

This is the most important question, which will help us to tell whether it’s a conscious or an impulse buy.

With a bit of imagination and ingenuity, it’s possible to spot objects made to environmental criteria (eco-labelling), their origin (local products, packaging information), their social responsibility (Fairtrade or others) and so on.

For example, we can think about the type of play a particular toy encourages and the values it develops (co-operation, competition, individual, group, violence, sexism and so on). We can also consider whether it’s an autonomous object or if it needs electricity to work, if it’s practical and functional, if we’ll use it often and so on.

If we look at the materials it’s made from, we can work out whether it can be made good use of (re-used, recycled, etc) when it becomes waste, or whether it will need special treatment (toxic and dangerous waste). This question can also help us to assess the durability of the materials and the possibility of repairing or restoring them.

We hope that when you go shopping you’ll remember to take these 4 questions with you (as well as a bag from home!). Happy holidays!

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