Noel et la Terre

Christmas and the Earth


christmas and earth

It's almost Christmas ! Boom, crack, pow!

That's it, we're there. The holiday season is coming.

This period when for most of us joy and magic takes hold. Children will feel more and more feverish over the next few weeks. Some people hate Christmas for all kinds of reasons (loss of a loved one, expectations never met...)

But beyond each individual, whether each of us likes or dislikes, if there is one who hates Christmas, it is planet Earth! Kaboom! Christmas has just created a big imprint on our environment.

too many numbers and numbers

Numbers, numbers and numbers

Do we really need to quantify the impact of such a celebration and its customs to understand the mark we leave? I don't think so... Yes, but does it only happen once a year? Oh yeah! Here are some rather telling figures on what remains after unwrapping tons of gifts and festive evenings.

  • For Christmas, in France, more than 61 million toys are sold per year
  • Each child receives an average of 6 gifts (mostly plastic!!!).
  • The total carbon footprint of Santa's distribution is 17.2 tonnes of carbon per year!
  • Each adult Canadian would have spent $1,810 on average in 2013 for Christmas (gifts, activities, food, etc.)
  • The number of cards sold in the United States during the holiday season would fill a 10-story football field and require the felling of nearly 300,000 trees .
  • In Canada, annual waste from gift wrapping and shopping bags represents approximately 545,000 tonnes/year .
  • If everyone wrapped just three gifts in reusable paper or cloth gift bags, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 hockey rinks.
  • In Canada, 30,572 hectares are used for growing fir.

Okay, so what do we do with all this? Should we stop celebrating Christmas? Are we going back to the days of our parents and grandparents who received an orange in their Christmas stocking? Absolutely not ! There are ways to celebrate Christmas, to experience it with magic and to be generous while minimizing our ecological impact. This impact comes from the trees, the decorations, the clothing, the meals... but here, we're going to talk about gifts, simply gifts!

Haaaa but don't cry my little one, it doesn't matter if your brother got one more gift than you...

Haaaa but don't cry my little one, it doesn't matter if your sister got a bigger gift than you...

But what have we built?

Gifts for children are sometimes a real headache... We look for something that will please them, we sometimes pester them to find out what they want.

Why do we need to go through this? Often the answer is obvious... Because they don't need anything!

They already have a lot, for most of them: too much! We want to please them but most of the gifts that will be given will be of very little use.

So, what should we favor?

used book as a gift

Let's focus on the quality and usefulness of the gifts! We can take a look at used objects either by going to platforms like Kijiji or Facebook, in thrift stores or by consulting the Recyc-Québec directory to find recycling organizations. There are certainly treasures to discover on this side and it is very likely that your child will see nothing but fire!

First, from a useful point of view, there is no shortage of ideas: a beautiful blanket, good pajamas, slippers, personalized clothing, a beautiful lamp, a new pillow, a sporting or creative item depending on your interests ... Something that you know beyond a doubt that your child will use in their daily life!

For quality gifts, you can consult the toy guide published annually by Protégez-Vous magazine. These toys have been tested! You can also rely on rather traditional ideas that have proven themselves: building blocks, subscription to a magazine, books, etc.

In any case, I offer you 3 gifts per child : one useful, one purely educational (e.g. book) and one rather fun.

The fun gift can be appreciated if it is a good thing but can be even more so if it is a shareable activity.

Why not offer your child an activity and allow them to bring a person of their choice? Hey, there's no shortage of choices here! From the creative to the cultural to the more active, there is certainly something for everyone!

limited gifts per person

What if we did the same things between cousins? 3-4-5-6 cousins ​​from 2-3-4-5-6 uncles/aunts and grandparents... Oh, a mountain of gifts! What if the gift was common? A great outing between them during the holiday season: going sliding in a center, riding a trampoline, renting an ice rink, in a cultural center? Quality time together, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

The calendar ahead

For the calendar ahead, it is advisable to avoid those offered by businesses. They are boring, the chocolate is often of very poor quality and what about the over-packaging.

This tradition can be optimized so much while having less impact on our environment.

Making one at home brings a lot of surprises that can be more creative and fun than each other. You need 24 ideas that don't need to be unique.

That is to say, each idea can come back a second or third time. I offer kind words to wish you a nice day, a popcorn evening with a parent or friend, some money, good quality edible treats, a game to play with a parent or friend, a riddle, a choice of meal , a used book, a massage, a recipe to make together, permission to go to bed 30 minutes later...

You know what I mean ? I guarantee that children will enjoy this type of calendar. We've been testing it for the last 15 years!

Christmas stockings

In Christmas stockings, we can slip practical and useful objects such as stockings, panties, toothbrushes, hair ties, lip balm, bath foam and if we want it some little edible treats.

And what about adults?

But what could I offer my parents, parents-in-law, brothers/sisters, sisters-in-law/brothers-in-law? In most cases, nothing that will be meaningful or actually useful! So let's take advantage of this to do something good and pleasant. You can collect all the names in one container and make a draw. Everyone must bring a single gift for the person drawn. And to that we add a theme:

  • Take an object from home that can be used by someone else
  • Give a gift that we made ourselves
  • Offer a discovery grown or designed locally
  • Give a used gift
  • Offer an eco-responsible gift or one that will allow the person receiving it to reduce their ecological impact
  • ...

You see ? It can be simple. In fact, I would even say that being more ecological is not only good for the environment but also for our wallets and for children's health! Ultimately, it is for them, the children of today and tomorrow. For them now but also to ensure the sustainability of our common space so essential to life: the Earth.

But what will you choose to apply this year?

Ecologically yours,

eco loco


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