The holiday season is here, and this is the time of year when we are appreciating all the blessings in our life. Still, even though we think Mother Earth is one of these blessings, we have been taking it for granted for so many years. With 2019 approaching, we are more than ever concerned about what the future might look like if we do not change our habits and stop neglecting Mother Nature that has shown us during the last few years the way she fights back.
Yet, the holiday shopping frenzy has already kicked off and before we finally decide on gifts we are going to buy, let’s see how we can put a green spin on the holidays.
According to the UN study, each year 7-10 billion tons of urban waste is produced all over the world and this shocking environmental fact should make us more cautious about our crave for shopping, especially given the fact that 99% of the stuff we buy is trashed within 6 months (www.theworldcounts.com).
So, what can we do this year to make the holiday season greener? Here are some ideas that will help you to make your holidays eco-friendly and sustainable:
- Eco-friendly gifts: Try to choose gifts that are made from recycled materials or materials that are easily recyclable.
- E-cards: You may save trees by sending e-cards or make homemade ones. The process of creating holidays cards should trigger your creativity and you will certainly enjoy it! After all, the charm of a handmade card is always appreciated and enjoyed!
- Mindful packaging: You may re-use wrapping paper, ribbons and bows instead of buying new ones.
- Christmas tree choice: If you already have an artificial tree, then you can use that one for many years. Otherwise, you can buy a living tree that can be composted after the holiday season or buy an artificial one that is recyclable and use it again for years to come.
- Thoughtful gifts: A gift does need to be made of any material. Instead, it can be a treat: a coupon for a spa, a ticket for a music festival or concert, or a coupon for a yoga class.
- Buy locally: Instead of ordering gifts that require to be transported, you can help the reduction of carbon emissions by shopping at local stores. By choosing companies that have adopted green and sustainable supply chain initiatives, you not only protect the environment by reducing waste and emissions you also reduce costs, but also support local businesses and community.
- Energy saving Christmas lights: Replace traditional lighting with LED lights for both indoor and outdoor lighting. There are many advantages of using LED lights and the most crucial ones are their long lifespan, low emissions and energy efficiency. Also, be mindful, and turn off standby power to reduce phantom energy consumption.
- Manage food waste: There is usually a huge amount of food that is wasted during the holiday season and you should try to plan the right amount of it and if there is still some left, you can donate it to a food bank or kitchen that can use it.
- Donation to a cause: Donate to a charity or service organization in the name of a family member or a friend who supports it. Various types of organizations such as social entrepreneur and start-ups work to identify solutions to various social issues and by supporting them we can help in building a better world.
- Battery-free gifts: Try to buy battery-free gifts or, if it is necessary, buy rechargeable batteries along with a gift.
By using these ten recommendations, the holiday season can be greener, more enjoyable and economical. And above all, Mother Earth deserves a gift as well and the best we can give back to her is to stop being unaware of its immense value and protect it as much as we can, and we should. As 2018 is ticking away, we are being urged to use all our resources and knowledge to protect it from destruction. Still, 2019, as each New Year, is bringing hope as well as new opportunities for us to reverse all our wrongdoings and assume more responsible and compassionate stance towards the safety and security of Mother Nature.
Sustainability Knowledge Group is a global advisory firm dedicated to creating value, through strategic CSR and sustainability solutions. Sustainability Knowledge Group supports companies to develop, manage and measure effective tailor-made Sustainability and CSR programs which address social and environmental challenges while promoting corporate strategy. Sustainability Knowledge Group offers training, coaching and advisory solutions grounded in international theory and successful application, and focuses on proven methodologies that bring tangible results, measurable impact and create better businesses.
If you would like to know more about how to lead in sustainability, utilize proven tools and gain new skills, contact Sustainability Knowledge Group at: [email protected].