Although they’re full of merriment, holidays can also be a time of unnecessary excess. Make them about family, friends, food and fun — not stuff!
Holiday environmental impact
During the concentration of cultural celebrations between late November and early January, household waste increases by more than 25 per cent from extra food waste (up to 40 per cent of festive food is wasted), packaging and items trashed when replaced with newer versions received as gifts. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the result is more than one million more tons per week in landfills across North America.
Research from the Center for Global Development estimates that holiday lights use 6.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
Personal holiday impact
For many folks, holiday frenzy causes stress and anxiety. This is where mindfulness comes in! Spending time in nature, even in small doses, has profound power to restore well-being. Take a break to stroll in a park, savour the sunset or breathe deeply in the fresh air.
Spending extended periods of time with family can also resurface strained relations, especially when sensitive discussion topics and differing opinions come up. It can be distressing when we don’t agree on things that matter to us. Learn how to find common ground and have conversations that decrease divisiveness and help cultivate empathy from our interactive chatbot, CliMate.
Personal spending also goes up during holidays. In uncertain economic times, people crave connection and are more concerned about money and skeptical about spending. Fortunately, alternatives to overconsumption not only help save money, they can reduce your impact on the planet and help you build deeper, more meaningful relationships with the people you love.
Earth-friendly ways to celebrate
Here are some tips to maximize festivities while minimizing environmental impact.
The best of the holidays comes from the wealth we create through relationships — to ourselves, to each other and to nature!
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