"It's the most wonderful time of the year" so the song tells us. But it can also be a wasteful commercialised and stressful time as well.
At Somerset Eco Centre we're here to tell you that it doesn't have to be. With a little knowledge and some planning, together with a change of focus you can make your Christmas more environmentally friendly and put the focus back on meaning, connection and fun.
What does Christmas mean for the environment?
Each year approximately $75 billion is spent on Christmas gifts, 1.9 billion cards are sent, and 20.8 million Christmas trees cut in the U.S. alone, the impact of this one holiday is immense. While worldwide information is hard to come by, the Australian Conservation Foundation reports a minimum of 2,285,000 tonnes of greenhouse pollution contributed to Christmas in Australia alone!
Green Christmas Ideas to Remember The most important thing we can do to create a Green Christmas is to make it something that everyone can enjoy. Connect with the meaning of Christmas, whether that is religious or personal. Create traditions that are special to you, make it a season that is full of magic, excitement and wonder.
Here are some general thoughts and over the next few posts will be looking at specific parts of Christmas, from the food, to the tree to the presents and wrapping and giving you some great ideas for making your Christmas less stress, less waste and much much more fun.
Slow Down: Give yourself permission to say "No" to too many commitments, and focus your attention on the details that mean the most. Enjoy spending the afternoon baking mince pies, go for a long walk on the Solstice. Allow the spirit of the holiday to envelop you in the warmth and joy it has to offer.
Connect with the Season: Light candles, decorate a Winter Table, create Advent traditions and reflect on the year or Christmas' past. Surround yourself with the beauty of the holiday and the seasonal changes
Connect With Others: Make time for family traditions or create new ones with friends. Consider helping out, whether formally at a volunteer event or just checking up on a neighbour or colleague. Make the effort to connect with distant family members, or friends you've not seen in a long time.
Green Christmas ideas are much more mainstream now but from gift giving to decorating, the first thing to keep in mind is the same as always: Simplify. Making things simple reduces cost, stress and waste.
See our next posts for lots more practical ideas on how to make a greener Christmas.