Zero Waste Holidays!
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
~ Mother Teresa
“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.”
~ Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Holidays and celebrations used to be sacred: marked by spiritual and communal sense of belonging to a land, a culture, a group…
These days, celebrations of Christmas are a synonym of bright lights, home and mall decorations and huge spending in “gifts”: mostly things nobody needs and which may be re-gifted, re-purposed or recycled (in the best case scenario) or thrown away after a couple of uses or months in the rented storage or garage (most common)…
How do you create a zero-waste holiday?
Here are some ideas…and a suggestion:
- Take the time to observe and see what the recipient of your gifts really needs and wants. Well-researched gifts are much more appreciated and will survive longer in people’s hands
- Give fewer gifts and to fewer people: one good gift is better than many things that may not be needed or wanted in the first place. Not everyone needs a gift or even a card: you may give people a warm phone call, offer a Zoom or Skype meeting to catch up, swap chores or write a really personalized warm and caring email!
- Give your time and/or skills: people appreciate the personal touch, undivided attention or true support when needed: seniors, people with chronic challenges or those who are super busy will appreciate that you offer to garden for them, clean their home, help them decorate or cook, or just come to make them some company, watch a movie together, read them a story, help them with a project…or you may have special skills you can offer through a hand-made certificate!
- If you have to give, use wise and sustainable wrapping: I use scarves, napkins, tea towels, handkerchiefs, knitted or crocheted bags or blankets, bags made of recycled clothes, etc…
- Make your own gifts: do you know how to sew, knit, cook, bake, preserve, paint? What a wonderful surprise to receive something that was made by you with love and care and not coldly bought at a store in a rush!
- Don’t waste your money in commercially made cards: make your own! You can learn how to make paper with recycled paper, or you can craft a great email with pictures of your friendship attached!
- Explain to people what’s your philosophy around gifts, but don’t be judgemental or preachy: people will see the good in your approach if you start from a place of compassion and non-judgement
- Give support to those working towards a different world (environmentally sane, spiritually fulfilling and socially just), there are many ways, if you decide to donate, research the organization and make sure your money will be used as intended. Better to support local organizations (such as non-kill policy animal shelters) that you can visit and see how they work.
- If you want to support me, you’ll get a gift back, considering supporting me with as low as $1/month!: https://www.patreon.com/silviadiblasiolifecoach