Christmas is coming closer and it is accompanied by the consumption increase. Stores offer sales every day and on November 28th the stores in Örebro have extra-long opening hours inciting local people to start their Christmas shopping.
Media reports that December 2013 is going to hit all-time consuming records as usual. This excessiveness has a great impact on the environment, which was recognized at the UN Summit in Johannesburg in 2002. Goals to stop this where formulated and then later broken down to national levels, covering several areas such as the consumption of textiles.
According to the report Prevention of Textile Waste from 2012 by the Nordic Council of Ministers, textile consumption in Sweden increased by 40% between 2000 and 2009. That makes 14,2 kilos of textile per inhabitant put on the market in 2008 alone.
Åsa Ödman from the County Administrative Board is a reporter for the consumption area in the Energy and Climate Program for the County of Örebro. She says: “Consumption is a difficult area since it is built on the consumers’ own choices, an area the politicians do not really want to deal with.” However, according to Ödman, on a national level it is now believed that the consumption of clothes is decreasing. Before it simply looked like an effect of the seasons or the economical recession. “There are a lot of things happening that people do themselves,” Ödman says, giving examples like exchanging clothes and fixing broken ones instead of throwing them away and buying new. Ödman continues that “people seem to change their behaviour and spend more money going to restaurants instead of material consumption”, which, according to her, seems to increase happiness, too. Ödman feels a need to help the consumer making the right choice. You should, for example, not have to look extra for the ecological choice when shopping food.
But what to do as a single consumer around Christmas?
Heidi Kronholm, blogger from Karlskoga who posts on Modemanifestet, has several ideas: “I feel that people consume way too much during Christmas. Especially when they buy gifts. They do not think about what they are buying, they just buy things because they have to. And, when it comes to food, I think there is a lot of excess.” Concerning ideas of consuming better, Heidi is convinced that we should eat more vegetables during Christmas dinners, keeping away from meat as much as possible. “If you like the ham, have it,” she says, “but try to mix it with vegetables, or reduce its consumption”
“The outfit of the day”, a famous concept in Kronholms blog, here shown in Karlskoga library.
The era of shopping is not ending yet, but maybe in the future more people will see the value of including environment in their thoughts during Christmas. This year, there is still time to get to know more environmentally friendly alternatives, but maybe the best of them, as Kronholm puts it, is simply “buying less”.
By Katarina Wohlfart
Listen to the entire interview with Kronholm Feeling the need for environmental friendlier alternatives including gifts? Visit Kronholms blog modemanifest.blogspot.se or the blogs recommended by her- The blog by Elsa Billgren, famous vintageexpert- elsa.elle.se and two other blogs about remake Klara Lidström- underbaraclaras.com and Ida -hejaida.com.