'Tis the Season...to get together & share love! Not necessarily to shop more. However, the downside of the holiday season nowadays is clearly the rise of consumerism and waste of the precious resources as a result. Here a few tricks and tips for a more sustainable holiday celebration:
Christmas tree & its alternatives: if you always put up a Christmas tree, please get a tree with roots, and then re-plant it after the season. It is incredibly painful to the tree and cruel to cut it down for just those few weeks. Why not decorate a living tree outdoors instead? No need to clean up all the spruce needles if your Christmas tree is outdoors! You can also go for an alternative tree which some people have done by putting a stencil up on the wall. Or you can create your own tree (check www.pinterest.com for great ideas!) or buy a variety of alternative Christmas trees made of recycled wood or many other materials; they come in all shapes and sizes, and bring a unique style to your holiday decor.
Gifts, packaging, throw-away: If you buy gifts please re-use the ribbons, paper ornaments, boxes, etc. from the previous gifts or pack your gifts into old magazines or into some of that paper that you have lying around in your apartment. You can still be amazingly creative. The elaborate new packaging will just add to destroying more trees and wasting more resources for the fleeting pleasure. Not to mention adding more garbage to the planet which is already heavily sighing under the burden of all the garbage we're continuously producing. Surely, save the ribbons and the paper you might get from others for the next celebration. Create + Donate instead of Buy: Perhaps you even choose not to buy 'more stuff', but instead to tinker, make something with your hands , or donate money to a friend or a stranger in need or to an organization that supports a cause you cherish or is helping to protect the planet. Such as savethechildren.org (especially with the current Syrian war) www.onebillionrising.org, or www.seashepherd.org
Eat healthy for yourself and the Planet: Inconvenient truth + no longer a secret: Animal agriculture, i.e. meat&dairy industry is one of the leading causes of climate change. Not to mention the cruelty it involves. So if you care about the health and sustainability of our Planet please consider downsizing on meat & co. and offering vegetarian or vegan festive meals options instead (there are tons of delicious recipes out there). And if you're a guest it is absolutely possible to decline helping of the meat at the dinner table and still be gracious and loving to your parents, grandparents or anybody else in your family. I'm talking from my own experience ;-)
Keep up your yoga and meditation (or any other spiritual) practice: Even if it is just 5 minutes a day - cultivating and developing equanimity of the mind, strength and flexibility of the body as well as a courageous, compassionate and loving heart is the best Christmas gift you can possibly make to yourself, your family and this one world we all share!
Wishing you all peaceful, blessed and happy holidays! With Love, Gabriela