The most wonderful time of the year also happens to be the most wasteful, consumer-driven and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to celebrate the holidays in the best way possible by remaining eco-friendly:
Purchase locally made gifts
Support your community and our economy by shopping at local retailers that sell locally made items — BermuniTees, Bermuda Candle Company, Della Valle Sandals or Davidrose Jewelry to name a few.
- Consider gifting all natural, organic items made from renewable materials. Some notable local retailers are Salt + Cedar, Cassine and Naked Zero.
- Gift with value, purpose or meaning to avoid accumulating unnecessary items that will go unused. For example, give money to a local charity in your loved ones name or give them money to put towards something they truly need, like starting a new business, groceries or even a utility bill.
Secret santa or “Gift-go-round”
To decrease spending, stress and waste, have each person in your family write down their name and a three item Christmas list (price limit optional) then have them pick a name out of a bowl or hat at random. The name you pick is who you buy for!
Instead of throwing away unwanted presents, re-gift them to people you know will love them. Take off the gift tag, rewrap it and avoid re-gifting within the same circle of family members or friends.
Use environmentally friendly wrapping paper
Instead of buying rolls of glossy or metallic gift wrap, choose fabric, newspaper, old maps, blueprints, books, posters and other reusable, recyclable materials.
Live potted tree
Avoid purchasing artificial trees that are made from plastics, toxins and other non-recyclables and opt for a live one instead. Support local gardens and re-pot for longer use.
Low impact holiday lighting
Reduce your carbon footprint by using energy-efficient LED lighting for outdoor displays, mini LED lights indoor for house & tree lighting. Make sure turn lights off at bedtime!
Homemade and Handmade
Create your own ornaments, decorations and holiday cards from scrap paper and materials saved throughout the year — you can even get the kids to help for a fun arts and crafts project!
Choose organic, local and free-range
Take advantage of your local farms and markets for fresh, locally grown and raised ingredients for a sustainable, delicious and healthy meal.
Avoid single beverages
Cut down on waste by using pitchers to prepare homemade drinks in large quantities instead of soda bottles or cans.
Leave the paper, plastic and Styrofoam utensils alone and bring out the fine china and cloth napkins for dinner. Have guests bring reusable containers for leftovers.
Follow Gombeys for exercise
A Bermudian tradition – Stay active, take your family outside to follow and dance with the Gombeys when they visit your neighborhoods on Christmas and Boxing Day.
Put down and turn off the technology
Instead of gathering around the tv, computer and hacking away on your mobile phones, pull out the board games and playing cards to save energy and be sociable!
What does your family do during the holidays to help the environment?