Although the holidays are the season for festivities, family, and fun it can often lead to overconsumption. We do it in a number of ways from purchasing brand new decorations annually, making too much food for our feasts, and buying and giving presents that we won’t realistically use. If you’re worried about overconsumption during the holidays or simply want to find ways to make your celebrations more sustainable, check out these three tips to make your festive season more green and jolly!
Conscious Holiday Feasting
The holiday season is marked by festive activities that often have one thing in common: food and a lot of it. However, no matter how delicious the piles of cakes and roasted chicken dishes may be, there’s a cost to the over abundance of food that we cook and purchase over the season. In fact, around 7 million tonnes of food is wasted on Christmas in the UK alone.
To cut back on the food waste, try to be conscious of your feasting habits during the season. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a sad dinner table though! It can be done by simply being more conservative with the portions that you cook. If you have a family of five for example, it would be best not to cook a portion that is too far beyond that number. And if any food is left over, share it with your loved ones or people who might not have access to such a feast!
You can also help the cause by using locally sourced ingredients and shifting to plant-based dishes if you prefer. A great way to avoid waste is to also use regular silverware instead of disposable plates and cutlery.
The impact of the holiday season can be immense for a number of reasons too. Oftentimes, the wrapping paper that we use in our presents is difficult to recycle properly. CO2 emissions also tend to skyrocket because of increased air travel. Lastly, billions of dollars worth of presents get wasted and are tossed into dumpsites to decompose for hundreds of years to come.
A rather easy way to reduce this harm is by being conscientious of the purchases that you make during this festive time. If you have the means to, why not try a slower but more sustainable means of travelling home? Or perhaps you can use a non-disposable item to wrap your presents like an eco-bag or presentable tea cloth? By reviewing your purchases carefully, you can reduce overconsumption greatly. After all, sometimes less really is more.
Lastly, the Christmas season is often about generosity, but this can also contribute quite a lot to overconsumption. What better way to be generous than by gifting sustainable and mindful presents?
One way to still give meaningful but sustainable presents is through experiential gifts. Think concert tickets or a trip to your local amusement park. These sorts of presents are not only more sentimental than material presents, but are also better for the environment as there’s no risk of the present going to waste.
If your loved one does prefer material presents, why not give them something from a sustainable brand? You could give them something like a reusable water bottle so they can avoid using plastic. Or you could buy them something like the RINGO-TEX x What is Heart leather goods which are both fashionable and sustainable.
By giving items with sustainability in mind, you can also encourage your loved ones to make similar steps in the right direction.
Although it can be difficult to make any sort of changes, especially to yearly festive traditions, we hope that these tips showed you that being sustainable does not have to mean having boring celebrations. After all, is there a better gift than a healthy planet to share with our loved ones?
If you want to learn more about sustainability, festive season or not, check out the rest of our articles here. And don’t forget to check out our official Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts for more updates. Have a happy holiday season!