With the launch a few weeks back of the EU’s Circular Economy Package and the Paris Climate Summit, it seems reasonable to claim that this autumn has been a bit of an environmental policy high point. True, the Circular Economy Package was delayed by a year and COP21 is unlikely to deliver any surprises, but nonetheless the direction of travel is positive. At least that is what I tell myself.
But Christmas is looming, I hear you say, a time of excess and conspicuous consumption that is the antithesis of all that the circular economy tells us is good, righteous and sustainable.
Well, I have an idea that could well put even this flatulent festival in its place. And it might just catch on. You are no doubt familiar with Secret Santa – the giving of “mystery” presents in the name of that jovial, bearded capitalist that goads you into shelling out money on useless tat for your work colleagues, friends and enemies. Although he claims to travel using animal power alone, he is in all other ways – and despite his spiritual origins – symbolic of greed and excess.
Even his outfit offends. Although it is an urban myth that Santa’s red costume was designed by Coca-Cola, it has nonetheless been transformed over the decades from autumnal ochre hues to the offensive ‘price ticket’ red we see today.
So, what is this idea?
I believe that we should kick Secret Santa back up the proverbial chimneys and replace him with Claus v2.0; Circular Santa. Dressed in unbleached plant-dyed, organic cotton, he would avoid excess packaging, adopt a strict vegetarian diet and prefer to walk and cycle between engagements. His North Pole workshop would be powered entirely by geothermal energy. Importantly, all his gifts would be ‘pre-loved’ reused or recycled goods.
At the Anthesis Xmas Party this year we’re giving Circular Santa a try – well at least the pre-loved gifts. Why not give him a go yourselves – and do let us know how you get on.
Craig Simmons is Anthesis’ Chief Technical Advisor and can be contacted via: firstname.lastname@example.org.