The holiday season is a time of celebration. However, amidst festivities, it’s easy to overlook the significant toll our traditional celebrations can take on the planet. Did you know that household waste spikes by over 25% from Thanksgiving to New Year’s?
According to Stanford University’s Waste Reduction, Recycling, Composting and Solid Waste Program, the surge in discarded food, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, and other holiday trimmings translates to an extra 1 million tons of trash filling up our landfills each week during this period.
Can we keep the holiday spirit alive while also being kind to our Earth? Absolutely! By making a few mindful tweaks in how you celebrate, you can significantly reduce your environmental footprint and set a positive example for your loved ones.
Here are a few ideas for a planet-friendly holiday!
Conscious Family Holiday Shopping
When it comes to family holiday shopping, making thoughtful choices can go a long way in contributing to a planet-friendly holiday. Start by supporting eco-friendly and ethical brands. These brands often have practices in place that are kinder to the environment, making your purchases feel good both for you and Mother Earth. Now, when you’re considering hitting the stores or shopping online, choose the latter.
Online shopping can help reduce transportation emissions. Plus, it’s a convenient way to get all your holiday needs sorted. While browsing online, try to consolidate your orders to minimize packaging and reduce waste.
Mindful Gift Giving
Gift-giving is a cherished tradition that embodies the spirit of the holiday season. Unfortunately, it can also lead to excess waste and contribute to the commercialization of the festivities. Opt for gifts that are sustainable, locally-made, or Fair Trade. They are not just thoughtful but also kind to our planet. Your local farmer’s market or eco-friendly stores could be treasure troves for such finds.
Now, let’s talk wrapping.
Instead of reaching for brand-new wrapping paper, get creative. You could use newspaper, or fabric from your own sustainable wardrobe to wrap your gifts. It’s a unique and personal touch that your loved ones will appreciate. Plus, they might be inspired to reuse the fabric, starting a new eco-friendly tradition of their own!
Environmentally Friendly Decorations
Try to embrace the natural beauty around you, instead of buying new glittery ornaments. Use pinecones, holly, and evergreen branches to bring a touch of nature into your home. You’d be surprised at how stylish and festive these natural materials can look!
Also, swap out those old incandescent lights for LED lights. They last longer and are more energy efficient—which saves you a ton of money in the long run.
Sustainable Food Choices
When it comes to holiday feasting, making eco-conscious choices can lead to a celebration that’s both delicious and earth-friendly. Have you thought about going for a plant-based menu? It’s a fantastic way to lower your meal’s environmental footprint. And with so many tasty vegetarian and vegan recipes out there, your taste buds won’t miss a thing.
Now, when you hit the grocery store, aim for locally-sourced and organic ingredients. It’s a solid move to support local farmers and sustainable agriculture, plus, fresh local produce just tastes better!
Planning the portions well can also be a game changer. It helps to avoid food waste, ensuring that every bit of your carefully chosen ingredients gets enjoyed. And hey, if there are leftovers, composting is your friend! With a little thought and planning, your holiday feast can be a merry treat for both your loved ones and the earth.
Engaging in Eco-Conscious Activities
Switching up your holiday activities to be more eco-conscious is not only rewarding, but it also sets a wonderful example for your guests. It shows that celebrating the holidays and caring for the planet can go hand-in-hand effortlessly. A fantastic way to kickstart this is by stepping outside and enjoying the natural world. Some simple yet cool activities include:
- a brisk hike in the woods
- a family snowshoeing adventure
- participating in a local beach clean-up
These activities provide a break from the hustle and bustle, letting you breathe in fresh air and soak up some scenic views.
Now, let’s bring the eco-friendly fun indoors! How about hosting a DIY eco-craft workshop? Invite your loved ones to create their own gifts or decorations using sustainable materials. This can also be a great moment to introduce some sustainable shopping terminology as you discuss the materials you’re using. You can share laughs and learn together as you craft, making memories that will last a lifetime.
Crafting Joyful, Planet-Friendly Celebrations
This holiday season presents a chance to blend cherished traditions with eco-conscious choices. By opting for sustainable practices, from outdoor adventures to mindful gifting, we not only celebrate with joy but also nurture a healthier planet. It’s a step towards creating new, eco-friendly traditions, making each celebration a tribute to Mother Earth.
By Myrtle Bautista