Ecoconvivios: The best way to celebrate without harming the planet

Christmas is the time for parties and sharing with loved ones, but… Do you know the damage caused to the environment by the use of plastics, cutting down fir trees or burning firecrackers? Learn how to make these holidays more ecological.

The Christmas season is characterized in various parts of the world for being the time when families and friends gather. At least once a year they will be able to share and celebrate, remember and long for past times. Above all, reflect on what has happened in their lives.

Also read: The time has come to grab the matches and start the party

Despite having many meanings, we see how over time, the sense of spirituality and renewal has been declining and commercial sense gaining ground, it is worth asking ourselves if this is what is really valued on these dates. What is true is that it is also the time of year when the greatest amount of waste is generated. Unfortunately, Guatemala does not have a modern and efficient management system that can adequately process the generated waste.

But there are several things that as people we can do to reduce or lessen this impact. Starting with small actions, we can make our planet and nearby places in particular less polluted during these holidays.


The get-togethers, generally organized by friends, are held in private homes and for convenience the first option is to bring disposable plates, glasses and cutlery. Let’s contribute to its reduction by taking and using reusable plates, glasses and cups. Whether it’s glass or ceramic, or if everyone brings what they’re going to occupy, they will avoid buying disposables and investing this in a gift. This is for the person who was most interested in supporting this initiative, infecting their friends and sharing the spirit of an eco-living.

Additionally, a large amount of food waste and the packaging that comes with it are generated. We can start by separating organic waste from all these packages. Convert organic into compost or donate it to a nursery that is close to our town. This so that they do not contaminate later when taking them to the general dump where they do not discriminate the garbage.

In the case of plastic packaging and bottles, we can separate them and as part of the celebration reward the most ecological ones that make ecobricks (fill the plastic containers with plastic wrappers and packaging).


Gunpowder and fireworks also generate a large amount of pollution, of different types, air and water, auditory and visual. One of the biggest contaminants are the phosphates that remain in the environment and that take about 7 days to completely dissipate. These result in respiratory and digestive diseases. The most affected are generally children and the elderly, but also people who, due to different circumstances, are predisposed to getting sick. The other effect is that if it were to rain on those days, the contamination would also fall in the form of acid rain, which impregnates the trees and also falls into the rivers and lakes that later supply the irrigated areas where the vegetables are grown. .

A positive action would be, then, to reduce spending on fireworks and use that money to share Christmas punch and bread with low-income people or with neighbors we never see… only at Christmas. In this way we will contribute to having a better quality of air and environment.

Another modality that is seen lately is to replace the pyrotechnics with colored balloons, nothing more ironed, these are made of latex which, when bursting, falls back to the ground or gets stuck in tree branches, some animals are attracted by their colors and eat them, dying later. In the same way, if they fall to the ground, the material is toxic and when degraded it is transferred to water and food, also to the air and to the skin.

little tree at home

Another tradition is having our own Christmas tree at home, which causes the felling of trees in many places, even protected species, such as the fir tree, despite prohibitions, people with profit motives they violate them and they debranch fir trees or cut them to market them, let us avoid buying them as much as possible and have a little tree that we can use for more than a year and thus preserve our environment and curb to some extent the depredation of our forests.

Another of the customs accompanied to the elaboration of the births is the use of moss. Most of the people who use it are unaware that it is also a protected species and that its commercialization is prohibited, because it plays a very important role for forests. During the winter the moss stores moisture and in the summer the trees use it as a water reserve to survive until the next rainy season. That is why its use as an ornamental article is far from being something beneficial for nature and the environment of the forests.


Gifts are also accompanied by the traditional little tree, on most occasions a very striking presentation is sought and plastic materials are used for the wrapping, as well as plasticized paper and lattice. A good option would be to make newspaper bags or some other material that we can reuse, reuse wrappers or packaging that have already been used previously and are in good condition, and also make cloth bags with reusable materials, to put gifts inside, at In the end, what counts is the intention to give and show affection to the person who is being given the gift.

We wish a Merry Christmas and we urge you to put these tips into practice and take these tips into account; the inheritance for the new generations is set by us and our current environment is already quite damaged. If we really want to give a gift that lasts, let’s give well-being by reducing pollution and deterioration of our planet and our immediate environment.

Ecoconvivios: The best way to celebrate without harming the planet