How many times have we deeply thought about what Christmas is about? I wish we do it every year. It is a time to give what is most precious.
Nobody is asking us to give as much as baby Jesus; however, at least, we could think of giving unusually large quantities of love and time. Then, if we want to complement those with some gifts, that’s fine. It makes the economy move and brings intense moments of happiness. But, could we move the economy in a more circular way? Certainly, neither love nor time for our kids are depleting the planet’s resources or polluting it with dirt. No matter who brings the gifts, Père Noël, Santa Claus, the Three Wise Kings or our Tió de Nadal in Catalonia, I guess they agree with this.
They are all very wise and I do not dare to give them advice. However, as they bring the gifts which, consciously or not, we most desire, if we start to strongly wish more sustainable gifts, they may join in. And here you have some indications of how to choose your wishes:
1/ Educate your kids against overbuying; make them participate in second-hand markets, sharing their old good gifts with other kids or go together to bring them to wherever you know they will be highly appreciated. Reuse! Try to promote playing and socializing and not so much toys and individualism. Help them to maintain and repair their toys: a wonderful time together.
2/ Appreciate gifts with less packaging. Reduce! Overpacked toys are not better ones. This high amount of packaging was hard to produce and will entail a lot of waste. Anyway, if you get to have a lot of packaging to discard, help your kids to separate the materials and go together to throw them in the correct bin. Recycle! Tell them this is building a better planet for them.
3/ In addition, you may want toys which can be properly stored in order to have some more space for you at home. My wife and I had four kids in five years: I know what I am talking about. There are some smartly designed toys with strong and long lasting packaging. Rethink!
4/ Look for toys without energy needs: we all know where energy comes from and our kids should as well. Prefer non-electrical mechanisms. If not possible, recharge the batteries. In addition, electronics is a rather polluting sector and electronic waste is really a challenge to deal with. This kind of waste should be collected separately. Recycle!
5/ Look for environmental labeling, look for the meaning and explain it to your kids. Re-educate the family! Toys may be manufactured from recycled materials, eco-labeled, CE marked products—CE marking proves that your product has been assessed and meets EU safety, health, and environmental protection requirements—(or other quality/safety marking), those from fair trading or local trading, etc. Use the toy as a tool for education. If you want to know more about how to design more eco-friendly toys, check out our nice project ECOTOY.
I wish you all a wonderful Christmas Season with thousands of minutes spent with your loved ones.