Friday, 14 December 2007

Eco-friendly Christmas markets

From a TV5 report (in French*)

If asked, 90% of French people think Christmas has become too commericalised**. Apart from the cost, the excesses translate into a vast amount of waste and takes a toll on the environment.

There is plenty of advice for individuals on how to lower their impact on hte environment during this season, but not so much for local authorities who are very much left to their own devices.

ADEME, (Agence de l'Environnement et de la MaƮtrise de l'Energie) have been asked to conduct a study which will result in a guide on how to minimise the environmental impact of Christmas without destroying its magic.

Because of the increasing popularity of Christmas markets, a charter has been drawn up prior to the study.

Christmaas market stalls

Environmentally friendly Christmas markets

  1. Stalls should be insulated when they are in use, and should be reusable.
  2. Electricity consumption should be limited and attention given to the type of lights with low consumption bulbs being given preference (as in Paris).
  3. Access should allow for bicycles and there should be good public transport.
  4. To limit waste, gift packaging should not be excessive and environmentally friendly products shouldbe used.
  5. Recycling waste disposal facilities should be available on site.
  6. There should be consideration given to the types of products on display.
  7. Promotion of fair trade and products from the local economy should be encouraged.
  8. Promotion of the event should be responsible in the amount and types of paper and inks used.
  9. Visitors and stall-holders should be informed of environmental problems and encouraged to limit their impact.

* I have discovered by chance that TV5's articles seem to have a wonderful add-in whereby you double click on a word and it gives you a translation. I'm in England at the moment and it translates into English, presumably detecting that automatically. You can though choose the languages you need.

**I would imagine most people, in most countries would agree with this.

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