Planning a Sustainable Christmas
Are you excited for Christmas? I know I am!
Christmas season for me is magical, going outside and watching all the houses decorated with twinkling lights and festive ornaments.
To celebrate this time of the year I decided to google about Christmas season and sustainability and to my surprise I did find a couple of articles on Google Scholar. Interesting or odd?
What I found was the article Gifts, sustainable consumption and giving up green anxieties at Christmas where its stated that during the holiday season it is very common that traditionally green consumers for go their eco friendly practices and choose to go for the more conventional route. Meaning, they do not try to force their family and friends to embrace their green practices like not using disposable supplies or the more difficult eco friendly practice to reduce the amount of gifts given during Christmas.
Why? The article concludes that it is because the holidays are stressful enough without adding the "hassle" of starting new eco traditions in the household.
Like you know, for westerns societies, one of the most common practice during the holidays is buying presents for loved ones and going to many celebrations with lots of food and decorations. For this reason I decided to share with you a few tricks we can use during this season to make your Christmas a bit more sustainable (without starting a fight with your family LOL!).
Remember, sustainability is not about scarcity or austerity. On the contrary, it is about abundance, it is about social development with economic prosperity but always aiming for the protection of our environment.
Do you think you can have a more Sustainable Christmas at home?
Keep reading and find some inspiration!
In my experience, no matter where you live, you are certain to find someone that sells an interesting product or service.
Be curious and search on social media or another local service for businesses near you. Do some research and ask around, maybe a friend or family member knows someone that sells interesting merchandise. Of course, the most sustainable practice, always, is not shopping, but if you're planning on doing it anyway, you might as well support the local economy!
You can also go to the Christmas markets or town events planned in your city, they are always fun and full of choices for you.
Here are a few examples of businesses in my area with really cool eco friendly alternatives for a Greener Christmas. Find the ones closer to you!
(Soaps, creams, straws, make up, essential oils and a bunch more!)
(Snacks, cleaning supplies, groceries, a lot to choose from!)
(Enjoy thrifting?, this is for you!)
This is a given, if you must shop, at least do so in a conscious way. Pay attention to the ingredients list, where the product comes from and what you can do with it after you've used it all up.
Every day, more and more businesses offer natural and/or organic products. As I've showed you in the previous section, there are always options for local entrepreneurs. The range of local organic products is growing. From personal care or household cleaning items, to ethically produced vegan clothes or bags.
Here are some ideas:
(Reusing materials to build amazing products!)
(Natural and handmade soaps!)
(Handmade cacao treats!)
When making the decision about what to give, I recommend that you really think about what the other person likes, what they talk about, their interests. Often, and me and my sisters joke about this, we give what we would like to receive ourselves as a gift. But we should always remember that the gifts are not for us but for the people we love.
Remember your intention behind the gift, it can be to brighten their day, make them happy or maybe give out something useful and of value for that person. The more personalized the gift, the more meaningful to the recipient and the more likely that they keep their present and take care of it.
For example, I would like to give everyone a meditation cushion to motivate them to star; but if they have no interest in this practice, this gift would end up unused in some corner of their homes. Discover what your loved ones like!
I have spent quite a bit of time googling eco friendly wrapping paper and let me tell you, I have found some interesting ideas out there. So in this post I want to share the ones I have tried and loved in the past years. And trust me, you do not have to be a full on environmentalist to start with this one.
The most commonly used eco practice for wrapping presents is REUSING the old ones stored in the house. You know, the old pre wrapped box or bag we got for our last birthday or maybe Christmas. Go for the things you already have and use your imagination! You can always decorate it with more of a Christmassy feel. Here are some ideas:
Another very simple option is USING NEWSPAPER. It's fun to choose between the headlines for the day, do you want to use the photo of the flooded avenue or the map of the country with the weather? Many people still get the newspaper every morning, make it useful!! The important thing is how you decorate it.
The last one is probably my favorite. Using FABRIC or CLOTH to wrap the presents but also giving something they can use around the house. Look at these examples:
I LOVE THEM!!!
Choosing the right wrapping paper has a greater impact on the environment than we can imagine. Did you know that many wrapping papers are not recyclable? Most of them are made with glitters and other materials that doesn't allow recycling. Crazy!
Of course there are many ways to contribute on this matter. Consumption Reduction is number one for most cases, but here I wanted to share some easy and very doable actions for you. Life is always one decision at a time, one step at a time, so let's not make it harder that it has to be. Little actions also make a difference, especially when we share them with the people around us.
I hope you have a Christmas full of loved ones, good vibes and lots of love.
See you in the next post!