A letter to Santa Claus (column 5)


Dear Santa, it’s time to be more sustainable and create a more sustainable toy industry

Dear Santa Claus,


Christmas is coming soon and I am looking forward to your visit. This year, I have only one thing on my list and this is related to you! A new, sustainable workshop for you.

Have you ever consider, how much sustainable are you? Although you have done a truly wondrous thing by delivering toys to children all over the world, year after year, I have some doubt related to the sustainability perspective of your global toy enterprise. So, my year’s wish is to consider a complete overhaul of your business model making yourself not only the figure that makes people happy by bringing them gifts but also a “hero” that is trying to save the world.

The changes have to do from production and distribution of the toys but also the quality, the type and the quantity of them.

Firstly, I wanted to raise the quantity problem. Recognizing how full our planet is, I can suggest you instead of producing so many new toys every year to facilitate ways to share toys amongst children. The average toy is only played with for probably less than an hour a day, then discarded rather quickly. So perhaps it would be better to have toy libraries where families could borrow toys instead of buy them.

Secondly, if you're feeling entrepreneurial, perhaps you could help cultivate a secondhand market for used toys. Even better, you can start an enterprise of rental game. Everyone will trust Santa and so your enterprise will be succeful. For example parents can rent toys and games per months and send them back when their children get boring of them. Toys aren't easy to mail because of their weight, however your reindeer could provide an advantage, if they're available, and I think they are, for working year round.

Another issue is the durability- quality- materiality of our toys. If toys and games are more durable and can last for generations would also help reduce global waste streams and resource use by applying the cradle-to-cradle concept. Also it time to think more about the materiality of the toys for instance, plastic toys can be fully recycled into new plastic toys.

Finally, I'd also like to ask you to think about the types of toys you produce. Too many of the toys promoted today reduce creative and educational play. Most of them are related to weapons, vehicles and princesses and very rare to environmental issues. Where's Captain Planet when you need him?

So please Santa, convert your workshop into a more sustainable place. I recognize this is no easy gift to grant, but for someone who can deliver over a billion toys in just one night, then you can do everything also this. And hopefully, once you and Rudolph light the way, other toy companies will follow.

Before leave to continue with your mission, please look in the kitchen; I left you on the table two sustainable chocolates. One for you and one for Rudolph. Enjoy them!


Thank you Santa, and I hope next year I will be able to call you Sustainable Santa!


Love, Elia