It’s a fun and exciting time when a major festival is just around the corner. The very thought of meeting your loved ones, eating festive goodies, decorating the house with bright lights and colourful festoons, and sharing gifts fills your heart with joy and warmth.
However, are you aware that holidays can also damage the environment, marginalised sections of the population, and animals?
In the United Kingdom alone, several thousand tonnes of plastic waste are generated every Christmas, and millions of trees are cut down. Add to this the fact that over 10 million turkeys and millions of other species of animals are killed every holiday season, making Christmas the world’s greatest annual environmental disaster. Other festivals also leave a similar impact on the environment, albeit on a smaller scale.
Every little action of ours has an impact on the environment. Luckily, here are a few things you can do to be more sustainable on occasions like green holidays, Diwali, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.
1. Choose Eco-Friendly Gifts
Gift-giving is a major ritual in the festive season, and every year, people buy tons of gifts for their loved ones. Make your Christmas more sustainable by choosing eco-friendly Christmas gifts this year. You can gift subscriptions to online magazines, items purchased from shops committed to sustainable production, or potted plants.
You can also create homemade gifts or maybe support a cause close to your loved one’s heart to add more happiness to their holidays.
2. Enjoy Plant-Based Holiday Meals
Animal agriculture is one of the top contributors to human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a leading cause of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water and air pollution. Raising animals for meat and dairy puts a heavy strain on our planet’s finite resources. One easy way to be more sustainable on holidays and festivals is to avoid animal-based food items and enjoy hearty and delicious plant-based meals instead.
3. Gift a Tree
Over 8 million trees are cut down for Christmas decorations each year in the United Kingdom. As you become increasingly aware of the disastrous effects of deforestation, there is no way you can support this practice!
This Christmas, do something good for the environment instead of contributing to more degradation. Gift a treeor a potted plant to your loved ones to make them happy while doing your bit for the environment as well. Trees are among the most environmentally friendly gifts.
With Raksha Bandhan just around the corner, you might be wondering what to gift your siblings living in India. Why not gift them Sacred Groves Clusters and make them nature guardians?
4. Support Small Local Businesses
Support small local businesses, especially the ones committed to ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices this holiday season. Instead of shopping for gifts at large shopping centres and malls, look for environmentally friendly gifts in the local shops in your own community.
Handmade craft items, paintings by local artists, knitted wear made with ethically sourced materials, and pieces of hand-crafted jewellery make for lovely eco-friendly Christmas gifts or gifts for any occasion.
5. Send Digital Cards
Billions of Christmas, New Year, and Diwali cards are thrown away by households in the United Kingdom each year, leading to loads of extra waste generation after any major celebration. Why not send e-cards this year to share good wishes without harming the environment? You can even get creative this festive season and make your own e-cards with the help of free design apps.
If you must buy cards, purchase plantable cards made with biodegradable paper and embedded with seeds.
6. Wrap Up Gifts More Sustainably
When it is time to wrap up your eco-friendly Christmas gifts or Diwali gifts, look for sustainable options like wrapping your gifts in a newspaper or recycling any old gift-wrapping paper you might already have. If you must buy, then go for wrapping paper made with recycled, eco-friendly material.
This year, make your festivities and celebrations rewarding experiences for not just yourself and your loved ones but also for the environment with these easy-to-follow and effective tips. Bake your own festive goodies, gift a tree, and exchange homemade environmentally friendly gifts to add an intimate and cosy touch to the holiday season.