Festivals always come with lots of enthusiasm and excitements and Christmas is no exception. In an attempt to make it fun and joyous we indulge ourselves in lots of activities including exchanging gifts, cooking lots of food, visiting friends and families etc. to name few. These activities if not planned properly can result in possession lot lots of unnecessary stuff as well as money being wasted. There are many ways to celebrate this festive season in a limited budget while also reducing the environmental impact of our actions. Here are 11 simple ways to celebrate Christmas in an eco-friendly manner while still maintaining its elegance and style.
1. Buy the right product
Every time we have some celebration, we want to buy new things for our home, ourselves or our families, whether we need them or not. Plan and make a list of items you want to buy so that the important things don’t get missed out. Identify if you just want those things or you really need them. Focus on the items that you need most. In this way you would be able to better manage your budget too. Stick to the list and do not let yourself get carried away with the items on sale or cheaply priced. Avoid buying anything that you don’t need in order to prevent them from getting wasted and ultimately being dumped to the landfill site.
2. Buy less
Once the list of items you really need is ready, try to stick to it. Do not overbuy. Again don’t get tempted to buy the things that are on sale or cheaply priced. The best idea is to quickly scan through your pantry, wardrobe, garage or store room so that you don’t end up buying too much or buy something that you already have. If you already have similar items that could replace the ones you want to buy, consider using them. For instance make your own Christmas tree, use alternatives for wrapping paper, bake your own cake, make your own greeting card etc.
3. Create less waste
Try to create less waste where possible. Avoid buying thing with too much packaging, don’t buy or cook too much, don’t buy the things that you won’t use. If you get something as a gift that you don’t use, donate it to local charity shop or consider giving it to someone who might use it. Avoid buying disposable or one time use items, its worth investing in things that that could be used multiple times. If you have a real Christmas tree this season, ensure that it is not put to waste. You can replant it in your garden or take it to nearby recycling centre, instead of putting it out for landfill. If you choose to use an artificial tree, you can reuse it again next year, sell it, or give it to your local charity.
4. Don’t throw away, Donate
Christmas is all about giving. If you are planning to clean your house this Christmas, instead of throwing them away, donate them to local charity shops. Pull out your old clothes, crockery, toys, books etc that you don’t use any more, as this is the perfect time to donate so that those who need get the pleasure to use them. This will not only help people in need them but also help declutter your home and save valuable resources from going to the landfill.
5. Reuse and recycle
Try to buy things that could be used multiple times. Avoid buying single use disposable plastic plates, glass and spoons. Choose to buy reusable ones or buy eco- friendly products that could be decomposed or recycled.
Recycle the items that could be recycled. Pet bottles, cardboard, paper, glass containers, cans etc could be recycled. Collect them separately and put them in the recycling bin so that these valuable resources could be used to make new products
Food waste constitute the huge part of our waste. During festivals we tend to cook or buy more food which will result in more food waste. Use your food waste to feed the worms in your worm farm or put them in your compost bin.
7 .Shop locally
Shop locally to promote local business and support your community. Buying locally made products also create local employment which will help enhance economical status of the community. Local shops sell a wide range of products at affordable prices at the same time they have less ecological footprint.
8. Give the gift of experience
Where possible choose to give your loved ones an experience rather than material item. Materials either gets consumed or stay in the house or end up as the waste where as experience last for lifetime. Pass to museum, aquarium zoo, rock climbing, spa, beauty care, movie ticket etc counts more than the material gifts.
9. Save energy and water
It would be wise to be mindful while using water and energy as you would be using it more frequently during the holiday season. Using solar or led powered Christmas light, taking short showers, using dishwasher and washing machines in full loads, minimising use of hot water etc would help save energy and water as well as money.
10. Celebrate with nature
Celebrate the Christmas close to the nature. organise bush walking, barbeque in the park (national park) or play outdoors. This will help family and friends bond with each other while children will enjoy to be with nature.
11. Be creative, don’t just spend
People always love and admire creative ideas. Come up with creative decoration or gift ideas. This will not only save you heaps but your creativity might inspire people to do the similar things. For instance, create your own Christmas tree, design your own Christmas table decoration, make your own gift wrapping paper, decorate the home with the items readily available in your garden or store room.