A more conscious and circular Christmas

Published on Wednesday, 28 December 2022

Christmas is approaching, a celebration that brings together the whole family around sharing, magic, and gifts. Although citizens are now increasingly aware of how their consumption decisions affect the planet, these dates continue to promote overconsumption that does not allow us to move towards protecting the environment and combating the climate crisis. While counting down to Christmas, we invite you to discuss the importance of more sustainable and solidary consumption as a family.

According to the United Nations, the world population is expected to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050. Today, half of the world's population is considered middle class, which will expand to 5.3 billion by 2030 alone. As the population's living standards rise, so will consumption and demand for resource-intensive goods, affecting availability for future generations. Although various sources show that this Christmas will be more austere given the effects of inflation and less money available, the increase in population and growing demand for consumer goods impose a significant challenge that should call us all to more responsible consumption.

Chile values the role of citizens in the transition towards a regenerative circular economy. Its Roadmap has set up a country culture where consumers at all levels of society migrate to more sustainable consumption and use habits and production patterns by incorporating circular economy principles. But it recognizes that get there, education and communication are essential, and we must all be part of it.

Francisca Astaburuaga, director of the center for innovation in cities at the Universidad del Desarrollo, reflects, "Christmas is a time of the year that challenges us to put into practice the principles that we know must guide our actions for the future. And for those of us who are parents, Christma is a moment to show our children that we act by what we teach. That is why I think it is important to return to what gives meaning to the celebrations: the encounter with the people we love the most, giving responsibly and creatively. This involves sharing toys and other things no longer played with before Christmas so that others can reuse them by giving gifts considering the gift's origin, materiality, and duration. Also important, is the packaging and wrapping used".

So, what actions circular actions can you put into practice: 

Reduce, Reuse, or Upcycle

Reduce the amount of wrapping paper and packaging you use as it is not recyclable and will end up in the trash. Reuse packaging from previous gifts or give second-use products as gifts. Although it may seem uncommon, upcycling is a fun way to reimagine the product's possibilities, transforming it into new uses or decorating it to give it a new life. You can find more information with #Upcycledclothing.

Consume Locally

The year's last quarter, especially for Christmas, is when retail generates most of its sales. This time is also key for small business owners, artisans, local shops, and fairs where buyers can find unique products designed and created with love. Benefits are not only economic but also contribute to creating community while reducing the carbon footprint by not being products produced and transported from long distances. Search #productskilometrocero

Prefer Sustainable

Today many stores offer products created ethically and sustainably. You can, for example, look at small products such as a kit containing shampoo, balm sticks, bamboo brushes, or bulk foods that are all plastic free. You can opt for handmade clothes with a custom design or eco-designed products that consider the materials used and their impact on the whole life cycle. Search #bulkproducts  

Gift an experience

In an increasingly digital world, there are multiple options to purchase services. You can give a subscription (try organic recovery services), an app, or an entertaining course. You can also give experiences such as tickets to a concert, a movie premiere, an event in the city, a spa day, or an adventure in nature. Search #giveexperiences

Christmas calls us to a family space of joy and hope. This Christmas try to give gifts with meaning and experiences that build memories you will treasure in time.

People's consumption choices can transform how markets, their customers, and the planet are linked and allow us to build a more conscious and circular economy.

If you want to learn and challenge your sustainable consumption habits, you can visit the "Conscious Consumer Journey." The project includes five stations covering the climate crisis, forms of conscious production and consumption, conscious eating, lengthening the closet's life, and sustainable mobilization in the city.

Join the #circularaction.