December has officially started, and the holidays are fast approaching. Although the holiday season creates a certain amount of anxiety when it comes to creating the perfect meal, decor, and finding gifts for all of our loved ones, there are ways to make more sustainable choices. Here are some ways and alternatives to be more eco-responsible these holidays.
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Make your own wrapping paper
The most sustainable way to make your own wrapping paper is to repurpose what you already have. This could include reusing gift bags, or gift tags, as well as using old paper bags to wrap your gifts. Another sustainable alternative is using wax wraps for your gifts. For a quick fix that certainly will make your gifts look extra special is using fabric sacs or making your own ribbons and bows from fabric or materials you already own. An example could be wrapping in the Furoshiki style, a Japanese way of wrapping, like origami but with cloth (here is a video that gives you a tutorial).
Make your own Christmas Decorations
There are so many different Christmas decorations that we can make for our home to feel cozy and welcoming for our loved ones. There are various DIYs on Pinterest on how to make your own ornaments using Oranges by simply drying up orange slices. Another easy ornament to make is with a cinnamon stick
The first step to do this is cutting down the number of materialistic items one buys. There are many other possibilities, such as experiences, even virtual ones, for instance, a cooking class. Another idea is making a gift yourself, for example, making a cookie mix jar or sack. Prepare the mix yourself with all the ingredients and put it in a jar or a sack, anything you can find at home. Another one could be making your relatives your own personalized coasters. Lastly, if you do intend on gifting something new, the second step to gifting sensibly these holidays is buying responsibly, supporting local and ethical businesses that you wish to see more of!
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Prepare a Plant-based Meal
Take charge this year. If you are not usually running the show when it comes to Christmas dinner, ask to do so this year. Introduce your family to easy plant-based foods they can recreate at home and show them the value of eating plants for our earth.
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Buy a Real Tree
Instead of buying an artificial tree, that will lead to waste and you are not going to keep it for the next decade, do not buy it. Buy a real tree, this will have less impact on the planet. Nonetheless, there is a catch. Do your research. Make sure it is responsibly sourced and the best way to dispose of it after!
Here are three ways of disposing of your Christmas tree soundly:
- Most cities have an urban recycling program.
- Chip your Christmas tree and turn it into mulch, this way carbon can return to the soil.
- In rural areas, sometimes public works departments can take your tree and turn it into wood chips for gardens and parks.
There are many more ideas out there as to how we can make more responsible and eco-friendly choices during the holidays, this is a short-list to get you started. Always do your own research, and educate yourself in ways to support and live a more ethical lifestyle. Happy holidays!
- Wood, Charlie. “The Most Environmentally-Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Your Christmas Tree.” Popular Science, www.popsci.com/environmentally-friendly-christmas-tree-disposal/.