Get more joy & fulfillment out of the holiday season with these 3 stress-free, green and sustainable holiday tips…
While the holidays should be a time of joy, celebration, and family, all too often it seems they instead turn out to be stressful and overwhelming. If you’re feeling the pressure of of parties, shopping, and spending more money than you should, it’s time to take a deep breath, step back, and consider what you really want the holidays to be about for you.
Make a conscious choice to celebrate the holidays in a more stress-free way, and you’ll likely find yourself spending less money, creating less waste, and enjoying the season, rather than dreading it!
The three stress-less tips below can help you create a greener, healthier, more meaningful and sustainable holiday season for yourself and your loved ones:
1. Whatever you do, start with an overall focus on minimalism and simplicity by continually aiming to eliminate waste and unwanted items. Best approaches often include: reusing what you already have, seeking to have safe and effective reusable items, and avoiding single-use throwaway items. Save wrapping and gift bags, and reuse them. Simplicity and minimalism, at their best, leave you with all that you do want and enjoy, making the experience totally meaningful and spacious in feeling and fact. This approach may necessitate a releasing of expectations as well; yours and others. If this is the case, look at what gives you and your family members the most joy and peace in the situation and holiday. You may need to sit down by yourself first to reflect on what you most want it to be, and then talk with family members and see what they most enjoy and want. Sometimes you will be on the same page, other times it will come down to compromise. Either way, look at it as positive steps to meaningful and needed change that favors sustainable, healthy, and earth-friendly actions. If you have things that you don’t want anymore, have them responsibly recycled or donate to those who will find them useful, either as they are or via repurposing, fixing, or otherwise upcycling them.
2. Choose to amplify what money can’t buy. Experiences, stories, quality time together….these are gifts to one another which are priceless. Celebrate the holiday in ways that go far beyond materialism and the damaging, often toxic constructs of consumerism. Sing, dance, create music and/or art, tell stories, hike, walk, bike, play new or old beloved games or sports (indoors and out), build something, make Green kind meals together, and make and decorate Green, kind desserts together. Create a new environment in your home that is conducive to play and new approaches–consider even an indoor picnic, fort, or tent! Create and preserve memories. Spend time with elderly family members or friends, record their stories, talk dreams you’ve had and what you think they mean, share a hobby you enjoy with everyone. Give everyone a turn to share. Another approach is to donate your time and presence to worthy and charitable causes. All of this, and experiences in Nature together can make the holidays a time of true peace, joy, and adventure.
3. When you do buy items consider gifts that invest in what is sustainable. Look for unique and meaningful gifts that you can afford, and that support local small businesses, local farmers, and local artisans. Also, seek to support resale, vintage, and thrift shops. Make something old new again by upcycling it for new use and a new life. Find toxin-free, sustainable recipes for body care or for meals, get the ingredients and gift them to loved ones in reusable baskets or jars. Support products that are proactive in being sustainable and kind, aiming for zero-waste and to be toxin-free. Gift loved ones with experiences, or gift certificates (preferably on recycled paper or on reusable cards) for experiences. If there has been too much gift-giving going on in the past, to the point that everyone feels stressed and overwhelmed by it: suggest a limit on one gift per person, or create a drawing for gift giving assignments… When looking for gifts for children, look for items that don’t involve single-use items, plastic, or other unnecessary waste.