More than a trial, make it your new lifestyle. Whenever having a celebration, try to opt for more sustainable options and think about the details. With a little effort and imagination, we can reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season.
Here are some ideas to help celebrating Christmas with less impact on our planet:
1. Buy less, create more!
Not all gifts have to be bought from the store. Presents show a gesture of thoughtfulness, and it can be imagined and made by you. At the end the gift will be personal and unique.
2. Make homemade cards
Store-bought Christmas cards consume a huge amount of natural resources for a throw-away item. The amount of cards sold in the US during the holiday season would fill a football field 33m high, and requires the harvesting of nearly 300,000 trees.
Instead of buying goods, buy some services or experiences for your loved ones: hours of message at a local spa, dance lessons at your city dance academy or giftcards for your local theater. Or a membership for car-sharing or bike-sharing.
4. Buy smart, think ‘eco-friendly’
Look for locally made gifts and avoid those coming from halfway around the world, because as you know the impact of transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions and global warming.
Gifts made locally often have a story which goes with the gift, since the artisan and the origin of the gift are known.
5. Choose gifts made from recycled sources
Supporting these businesses helps reduce the waste stream while promoting the concept of making best use of available materials.
You received a gift that you do not need? Re-gifting makes perfect sense. Look for ways you can reuse this gift by passing it on to someone who can use it. Of course, re-gifting needs to be done with care so as not to offend the original giver, but keeping a gift you don’t need is wasteful.
7. Remove packaging
Reduce waste even further by buying gifts with little or no packaging.
Sometimes shopping local can help with this. If packaging is unavoidable, opt for something plastic-free or made from recycled, or recyclable, materials. And don’t forget your reusable bags while shopping.
8. Connect with nature
Christmas is a time for giving and a time for family. What a great opportunity to start a family tradition of giving back to the earth. Go for a peaceful walk through nature on Christmas day or clean up a natural area will give you a sense of well-being.
9. Dress sustainable for the party
Use clothing that you already own! If you really can’t find anything to wear, ask your friends or family, and try looking around second-hand shops for your Christmas party outfit. Otherwise, opt for sustainable clothing brands such as Komana, Avani and Sanikai that are unique and eco-friendly.
10. Cut your food waste
Food production is the biggest cause of tropical deforestation. Try to cut any waste by planning ahead - be realistic about how much food you need and use up leftovers.
Leftover food may be unavoidable, but you can save it and enjoy it the next day by covering it with eco-friendly cling film alternatives such as beeswax cloth covers!
Another option is to eat more plants: Eating more plant-based meals is good for you and the planet.
Enjoy every moment of the holiday season and try to make small actions that can help planet earth. Every day is a good day to make some changes.