NOT everybody is dreaming of a white Christmas. Community Resources Network Scotland for example would love it to be greener and slightly less wasteful!
There are plenty of TV advertisements at the moment showing beautiful sofas and furniture that will be arriving at homes throughout Scotland this December. But please remember, if you have a piece of furniture or other household items and they are still in a relatively good condition, then please make it available for someone else to use.
Simple – just donate it to one of our reuse and recycling organisations listed on the crns.org.uk website. It’s a really simple concept but one that is working.
Some other hints and tips we’ve found which may help to keep you calmer over the next coming days are:
Dematerialise your gifts
When preparing presents try to avoid material stuff. Give a voucher for a massage, or tickets to the theatre, or a dinner to a local restaurant, or a yoga lesson… there are hundreds of non-material presents that can make your loved ones happy without putting an extra burden on the environment.
Your present can be material but it doesn’t need to be 100% new as this can have implications in the extractions of new materials, transport, energy and water-use. To buy quality reused and recycled items go online at crns.org.uk and search for one of our membership organisations that is near to use to find that extra special gift this Christmas. It will certainly make sure your present is unique.
Sometimes it is necessary to buy something material and new but watch out because the choices are not neutral. Things that you should especially watch are:
- the toxicity of most stuff; there are many products which contain toxics which can cause cancer, infertility, asthma, allergies, etc. For instance, when possible choose plastics that are BPA free, avoid PVC, etc.
- the source of the materials and choose those from renewable sources; for instance wood is better if certified FSC.
When it comes to food, Christmas is the time for family meals and we should watch what we buy, what we eat, how we eat as much as what ends up in the bin. Before going shopping do some planning in order not to over-stock stuff you will not need. If you are not sure about how much food you may require, check out a helpful serving calculator such as LOVE FOOD Hate Waste
There is still time to rethink how we spend our Christmas holidays. Media commercials will always insist in linking happiness to consumption when experience yet scientific evidence proves that this is untrue in most of the cases. After all it’s not rocket science, just reflect on what builds your long term happiness and think how much of that is related to compulsive Christmas shopping… not much, uh?
Christmas holidays is the perfect time of the year to rethink our life-style and plan 2015. Let’s just use the common sense and focus on what makes us happy without having to trash the planet!
With thanks to Zero Waste Europe
Picture courtesy of Remade In Edinburgh: https://www.facebook.com/Remadeinedinburgh