How to Go Green for the Holidays
Holidays can be a pretty stressful time. There’s family to see, presents to buy and food to cook. In the midst of all this it’s easy to forget less immediately pressing issues like being sustainable and doing our bit to reduce environmental damage. However the holiday season is actually a great time to focus on doing your bit to reduce climate change. There’s so much potential for waste and unsustainable activities that even a few small tweaks to your normal routines at this time of the year can really make a big difference. To help you do so here are three easy ways to go green, whatever you’re celebrating.
Make things at home whenever you can
Home-made food and presents tend to be much less wasteful and more environmentally friendly than shop bought things. You’re avoiding lots of packaging, multiple trips to the shops and all the pollution that involves. Instead if you need a gift or food idea start by having a look at what you have available at home and get creative about turning this into treats. For example you could learn how to make ice cream and then use left-over cream and sugar to create a tasty, low waste dessert for holiday guests. This kind of creative activity is also perfect for getting kids involved in sustainable holiday enterprises. Teaching them about using up existing resources rather than buying more is an important eco lesson for life, and learning how to make ice cream with household ingredients is a tasty way to hammer this home.
Avoid creating too much waste
While you’re going green for the holidays and teaching kids how to be sustainable you could take a different approach and try paring down celebrations in order to avoid too much waste. Highlight to children the importance of spending time with friends and family rather than getting lots of presents. You could model this ideal by putting a price limit on what everyone can spend, meaning less stuff is bought – much better for the environment. Or try a ‘secret santa’ type arrangement where everyone gets allocated one person to buy for, rather than each family member trying to buy something for everyone else. Any attempt to buy and consume less stuff during the holidays is a good eco initiative!
Eat green food
Our third tip for going green during the holidays is to think about what you’re eating, and again this can be a great opportunity to teach kids about sustainable food. Families consume huge amounts during celebrations so it’s definitely a good time to work out how to eat more sustainably. Talk to children about concepts like ‘food miles,’ organic and eating local. If you’re a family who tend to eat a lot of meat try a few veggie meals instead – explain to kids why this is more sustainable in terms of less methane production from cattle and get them to think of some fun vegetable-based recipe ideas.
There are so many things you can do to go green during the holidays! Involve kids as an educational experience and then challenge them to keep your new eco lifestyle going once festivities have subsided..