Just about every December glossy mag this year is referring to a ‘greener Christmas’. I suppose Christmas is a time where we mere mortals do tend to bow down to the gods of consumerism. I am banning my Eldest from watching any kiddies channels that allows advertising, right now he ‘needs’ everything, (he even went so far as needing a “Polly in my Pocket” doll). It is a time where excess is at its peak and one would think with all the financial doom and gloom predicted by our economists we would heed their warnings to save for a leaner 2009. But after a trip down to local mall I think the saying ,”Making hay while the sun shines”, is the motto being practiced by many.
I probably have a carbon footprint from here to Alaska and back and have fallen short of a totally “Green Christmas” but some of the suggestions for a greener Christmas are : –
- Recycle old Christmas Cards, make your own from recycled paper or alternatively send e-cards which can be recycled with a mere push of the ‘delete’ button. (I like the last point.)
- Reduce the amount of lights you decorate your house with. In past years South Africans have slowly embraced the tradition of having your house look like an airport runway but due to our ESKOM (supplier of electricty here in SA) induced powercuts we need to start conserving this energy source. I like the more traditional way of lighting candles in you windows but naturally with caution! A safer way may also be to use energy saving LED lights.
- A ‘real’ tree is fabulous but make sure it is recycled correctly in the New Year! Mother Earth would love the mulch it can provide for her soil.
- One of the suggestions was to wrap your Christmas gifts with newspaper – as much I like this idea, I also would not like the headlines that are printed in our newspapers here in SA on my gifts, however the comic section may make a fun alternative. I do like the idea of using recycled paper and decorate the paper yourself to give it that Christmas cheer!
- It is also suggested that you buy gifts with little or no additional packaging materials. This has proven a little difficult for me as Eldest’s Christmas wish list has been very specific and it comes with the packaging I’m afraid. However, we will ensure that this makes it way to the recycling bins!
- Use your talents as gifts for friends and family instead of buying things. Make, bake or craft. I unfortunately do not have time for the latter but I have offered my babysitting services to my close friends so they and their significant others can go watch a movie or have a meal – sans kids.
I definitely won’t be winning my “Earth” badge this year but in my small way I will try and atone for my environmental sins. Maybe I have found my first New Years Resolution?