December is the month of consumerism. Holiday shopping everywhere. I am no Grinch, but I can get annoyed at how commercialised Christmas is. A gift is a way to show people you care. Not just another redundant item to add to a collection of superfluous stuff… And a meal should give you energy and healthy nourishment, not belly ache and hangovers.
Christmas time is Winter solstice. It should be about bringing light to the darkest days of the year. Not the artificial, colourful, blinking kind. But the light of love, friendship, singing and dancing, sharing a meal…
We forget the power we have as consumers, not only in December but throughout the year. When you buy something, you are casting a vote. You’re saying yes to that product. You’re agreeing with the way it was produced and the message it carries. Do you want to say yes to plastic? To pesticides? To clothes made in poor conditions? To food packed with sugar and preservatives? Off course not…
So be a conscious consumer. Say yes to a clean future. Yes to fair-trade. Yes to sustainability. Yes to waste-free and chemical-free products. Take action, take responsibility. Consider your consumptions as carefully as you would consider your vote.
We cannot wait for the system to change. We individuals are the system.
Quoting Colin Beavan aka No Impact Man.
This Christmas, why not make your own presents? Or give someone an experience, a home-cooked meal, a basket with organic fruits and vegetables? Possibilities are endless.
If I were to go holiday shopping, here’s a selection of stores I would happily invest in:
Belgunique – supporting local Belgian design.
Rewind – online store with shops in Antwerp.
Supergoods – fair fashion, online and in Ghent and Mechelen.
Kudzu – an eco webshop.
Good Goal – sustainable guide for several European cities.
Ecoplan – map of Belgian green initiatives per theme.
Eco goodies – overview of eco webshops.
Or, feel free to contact me if you are interested in a gift voucher for a class or workshop.