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Big steps toward a smaller footprint this Christmas

by Allyn Chua – Go Tian, Environmental Advocate of Xavier School

christmas tree recycleChristmas doesn’t have to be a burden on the environment. With a little effort and imagination, we can reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season. Here are some ideas to help celebrate the holidays while caring for the Earth.

Wrap & Pack Eco-style. Get creative and choose reusable alternatives like comics, posters, newspaper, magazines, bandanas, paper or cloth gift bags and boxes. Avoid foil sheets and wrapping paper as its high-clay and low-paper content makes it difficult to recycle.

Go Eco-Deco. Create and make your own decorations from what you have, like pottery, glassware, fresh fruits, flowers, or potted plants. Avoid streamers, balloons, and other decorations designed for one-time use.

BYOB(ag) & BYOC(ontainers). This is basic, easy, and important. The key to bringing your own bag and containers is to not forget them. Avoid plastic bags.

Reduce or eliminate your consumption of bottled water or drinks. Get a water tumbler (BPA-free) and refill it.  Always bring it with you.

Make Your Gatherings Zero Waste. Bring and serve food and drinks in reusable containers, plates, and cutlery. When it comes to leftovers, don’t let them go to waste! Bring reusable containers to take home any leftover food and drinks.

Give from the heart. This year, make your own gifts. You can also give environmental gifts like plants, personalized hand-crafted artwork, cards, or e-cards. Choose gifts that have little or no packaging. Think about making a donation to someone more in need than you or to a cause in lieu of a gift.  Find out the different causes you can give to at gift.xavier.school.

Think Outside The Box. Life’s greatest gifts can’t be wrapped up in a box: the gift of time, the gift of learning a new skill, the gift of being given the opportunity to pursue a pastime or passion. There’s no need to purchase a material gift to really wow and surprise someone. Kids will appreciate and love receiving lessons on dance, music, sports, gymnastics, art, painting, or photography–even learning how to prepare the family secret recipe from grandma. Not buying things is a green act in itself.

Have an eco-friendly and meaningful Christmas!

Sources:

http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/green-christmas.html

http://life.gaiam.com/article/15-ways-green-your-holiday

http://redtri.com/eco-friendly-holidays/

http://www.ecocycle.org/holidayguide/10ways

https://www.carbonfund.org/reduce

http://www.wikihow.com/Reduce-Your-Carbon-Footprint-at-Home

 

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