December is such a happiest month for most of us. Around the world, we celebrate Christmas and New Year differently.But we all love this season. That feeling of decorating your home with lights and ornaments while your kids
hang their Christmas stockings on your walls is satisfying.
But with all the Christmas and New Year Sale in the malls and the items that make the celebrations colorful and festive are corresponding wastes. And we cannot afford to see our Earth scattered with single-use plastics, gift-wrappers, increased carbon footprints, and other potentially harmful elements just because we want to party.
So, here are our Christmas activities to lessen our wastes while enjoying this holiday season with our loved ones and friends.
1. Create your gifts or purchase only eco-friendly gifts from your local stores.
It's time to use that creativity and use the available materials at home. Your magical hands can make bracelets, native bags, portraits, paintings, and many other valuable items. You can also make your personalized cards using used paper. To some, this might appeal to very traditional. But handwritten letters always make us feel appreciated and special.
If you think you don't have enough time to do that, then buy eco-friendly gifts from local stores. Buy gifts that last long and can be very useful for the person.
2. DIY your decorations.
The Christmas season only happens once a year. But some countries celebrate it for months. Putting some colorful and creative stuff at home or in the office can brighten our days. The pandemic has given us so much stress and discomfort. It's time we put some life and re-live the Christmas spirit at home. But this time, let's do it more environmentally conscious.
Decorate your houses using old Christmas stuff, indigenous materials, and recycled ones. You can make your Christmas trees using dried twigs or plants or trees around. Use LED or solar-charged Christmas lights. If you need some tutorials in making DIY Christmas decorations such as lanterns, wreaths, and knitted stockings, you can search them on YouTube or on platforms like Pinterest.
3. Cook your food instead of buying or buying only what is enough for you and your family.
Dishes on a Christmas and New Year’s Eve are exciting! Imagine your table set with a beautiful table cover and mats! And sumptuous dishes that can compete with 5-star hotels and restaurants are on your plates! Yum! Yum!Yum! Let's make this come true. But let us be more mindful and practical. If you are already good at cooking, you can ask the whole family's consensus for the menu or make a list and let them choose. Of course, you can ask everyone to help you so you won't end up complaining about body aches on Christmas! Plan dishes that use the same ingredients so they won't consume much of your time preparing. Cook what your family can only eat for a maximum of 2 meals so you won't end up throwing them.
Less waste and less money spent! But if there are only 2-3 persons inside the house or you are spending time alone, you could buy from a homemade food business or local stores near your area. Make sure the packaging is not a single-use material. You can also bring your container.
4. Emphasize that quality time need not be extravagant.
Travel and spend time with your loved ones in the local tourist spots in your area. You can also do nature tripping. It saves your time, energy, money, and risk of getting infected by COVID-19. Opt for walking or using bicycles rather than riding taxis and driving your cars. After all, walking has a lot of health benefits. It strengthens your relationship with your family members.
Go to the nearest park and have a picnic. Get wet on the nearest beach. To save more, bring your cooked food and beverages. Avoid buying snacks with plastic wrappers. Do not use disposable utensils and plates. Watch movies on your phones or laptops instead of going to the theatre. Read books or magazines.
5. Declutter, earn and share.
It might sound weird. But the idea of decluttering in a holiday mood can be fulfilling. It's time to let go of your old clothes, toys, shoes, bags, cooking wares, and anything that you are no longer using. If you have a lawn in your house or a garage, place all your old items there and sell them! But if you think you don't need much money, then donate. Go to the nearest foundation or community center and share your items with them. Organize a charity project with your family and friends. You can also adopt a family or a group of kids. Giving away your old but reusable and functional stuff makes it sustainable. End the year with a free and organized mind! Your trash can be someone else's treasure.
Make the Earth a better place this holiday season!