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How to make a Christmas from the circular economy

Rainwater harvesting, use of solar energy, composting… the house of businesswoman Miriam Isabel Cenamo, 63, in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, is a hotbed of ideas and circular initiatives throughout the year. At the end of the year parties, like Christmas, the tradition is no different. Homemade gifts, simple suppers and leftovers in the compost bin are among the actions taken by Miriam to have a garbage-free celebration. A concern that is beyond relevant, since consumption and, consequently, waste and the volume of waste tend to increase in times like this. With that in mind, we've put together tips for you to have a Circular Christmas in your home.

The key to a Christmas based on the circular economy is conscious consumption, points out Professor Dr Edson Grandisoli, pedagogical coordinator of the Circular Movement. Thinking about what you really need to buy is the first step.

What do you already have at home that can be reused? Where will you go shopping? What will you pack the gifts with? How will you serve supper? For how many people? Planning is essential to avoid waste, so take some time and plan your Christmas.

The Circular Movement's pedagogical coordinator emphasizes that much more than giving gifts, it's time to be present. “We have to change the culture and start valuing more being in the presence of people, especially after this period of pandemic that we are experiencing and are experiencing, than buying things”, defends Edson Grandisoli.

For those who don't give up gifting, there are options. Miriam, for example, makes at home many of the gifts she distributes at this time of year. “For some years now, we've adopted the secret friend into the family and among friends. With my closest friends, we chose to make a secret friend with gifts made by ourselves: a meal, a crochet, things like that. When we buy something, we choose to give things that are useful and can be used again, such as books”, explains the businesswoman.

“You have to choose well from a packaging point of view. This is both for gifts and for products you buy for supper, for example. A product does not need to be inside a package, which is inside another package, which is inside another package”, completes Edson Grandisoli. The professor also advises that purchases should be made from local suppliers, because that way the pollution generated when moving products from one city or state to another is reduced.


For supper, it's worth choosing seasonal fruits, avoiding excessive amounts of food for the number of people, betting on crockery dishes (and avoiding single-use disposables), in addition to enjoying what's left, whether in another meal or composting whatever is organic (fruits and vegetables).


Christmas ornaments can be made with recyclable materials. You can make this moment a real family fun. Isn't that great?

With creativity and planning, the possibilities are endless! And always remember to be careful with the guidelines of the health authorities regarding the covid-19 pandemic. Let's make a Merry Christmas together?

Check out the tips for a Circular Christmas:

  • Reuse gift packaging;
  • Use other materials to wrap gifts. You can create bags with fabrics you already have at home, for example;
  • Take the bag you are going to use to transport your groceries from home;
  • Create handmade gifts;
  • Make Christmas ornaments with recyclable materials;
  • Look for products at used ware stores. There is a lot of affection in objects that have stories;
  • Choose to buy from local stores and producers;
  • Plan the supper to avoid waste;
  • Reuse leftovers in domestic composters or other meals.
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