Happy Holidays: A Guide to a Sustainable Christmas
It’s that time of year again
The leaves are dropping along with the temperature. The stores are full of evergreen trees and colored lights. Our pantry is full of canned cranberry sauce and boxes of stuffing.
As the holiday season approaches, the spirit of giving is in the air.
The mad rush is upon us. Black Friday sales fliers fill the newspaper. Delivery boxes stack up on the front porch.
For many of us, this will be the Christmas morning scene…
Kids have been awake for hours. They are eagerly waiting for the moment they can dive into all the presents underneath the tree. Then in a matter of minutes the room, once carefully decorated, now resembles a battleground. Mountains of torn wrapping paper, ribbons, and discarded packaging obscures the entire room.
And regardless of your faith, the holidays generate a LOT of waste.
It’s a mindboggling amount of waste generated during the holidays. The average American creates 25% more trash per day during the holiday season.
But it is not just wrapping paper. The electricity needed to power those Griswold-esque Christmas lights is massive. Not to mention a lot of holiday cheer is transported by fossil fuel. From getting those gifts shipped to your front porch to getting you to your relative’s house, the logistics and transportation industry is in high gear.
However, with environmental concerns growing, many are seeking ways to make holiday celebrations more sustainable. Sustainable gift choices are meaningful ways to spread joy while minimizing the environmental impact of the festive season.
In this issue, we explore various ways to transform your holiday spirit into a more eco-friendly and socially responsible experience.
Think Twice Before You buy:
The first step towards sustainable Christmas shopping is adopting a mindset of mindful consumption. Before embarking on a shopping spree, take stock of what you already have and consider whether your gifts could serve a dual purpose or have a longer lifespan. Thoughtful gift-giving promotes sustainability by reducing unnecessary waste.
Choose Sustainable Brands:
Supporting companies that prioritize sustainable practices is a powerful way to make a positive impact. Look for brands that prioritize fair labor practices, use environmentally friendly materials, and have a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. This not only ensures that your gifts are responsibly produced but also encourages a shift towards more sustainable practices.
Buy Second Hand:
During the holiday season the retailers are hitting hard to lure you into their stores. Try to resist the temptation. Instead buy secondhand items and find new homes for things you no longer want. This is a great option that saves cash and encourages reuse. If you do buy new try to look for long-lasting quality and avoid those fast fashion trends.
Gifts with a Purpose:
Consider gifts that contribute to a sustainable lifestyle. Items such as eco-friendly home goods or locally crafted products not only make for thoughtful presents but also encourage more sustainable habits. Additionally, experiences such as concert tickets, cooking classes, or spa vouchers can create lasting memories without contributing to material waste.
Do It Yourself gifts:
Tap into your creativity and craft personalized gifts. Handmade items not only showcase your thoughtfulness but also reduce the demand for mass-produced goods. From homemade candles to a family album, the possibility for unique personalized gifts is endless.
The environmental impact of gift wrapping is often overlooked. Instead of traditional wrapping paper, consider reusable options such as fabric gift wrap or even old maps and newspaper. Also opt for gift bags that can be reused multiple times.
Supporting local businesses is a boost to the community. Choosing locally sourced products contributes to sustainability and can help reduces the carbon footprint associated with shipping and transportation.
Give the Gift of Time:
In a world filled with material abundance, the gift of time can be one of the most valuable and sustainable presents. Consider giving experiences like a home-cooked meal or volunteering together. These gifts create lasting memories and reduce the consumption of material goods.
Amid this post-gift chaos, the essence of the holidays linger. It is not the material gifts. It is the shared moments, the laughter, and the bonds that were strengthened by the joy of giving and receiving. It’s the magic of Christmas morning, lighting the Menorah, and making memories that will be cherished for years to come.
We here at Mangrove Investor wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. This year we are adopting mindful shopping habits and embracing a more sustainable holiday season. We plan to make a positive impact on the environment and our families. We hope you’ll do the same.
This holiday season, let sustainability be the guiding light in your quest for the perfect gifts, spreading joy while treading lightly on the Earth.
For The Good,
Numbers to Know
The Guinness World Records for Christmas private home light display has 686,811 lights with spirals, snowmen, and animals. All choreographed to 250 different songs. (ABC News)
The first Christmas lights were hung in 1882 when Edward Johnson created the first strand of electric holiday lights and installed them in his window for everyone walking by to enjoy. (Library of Congress)
An array of US clean energy investments are being delayed or cancelled a year after Washington passed a landmark climate law, threatening to hold back the Biden administration’s emissions targets. (Financial Times)
Voters in Texas this past week approved Proposition 7 that will provide low-cost loans and early completion bonuses to power companies who build natural gas powered electricity generation facilities in the coming years. (The Telegraph)
Video Of The Week
Best Christmas Ever – SNL
Welcome to the holiday season. Here’s one for the best Christmas ever.
Can you relate?