Who doesn’t love Christmas? ‘Tis the season to give, receive, eat and be merry and we’re already bursting with yuletide cheer! The tree is trimmed, presents are popping up under it in the middle of the night (Is that you, Santa?) and the letter box is filled with cards from friends and family. Not to mention all the parties. Does anyone actually work in December?!
That being said, the holidays can also be a time for excess, waste and materialism too. Thousands of trees are torn down in the form of wrapping paper, tons of plastic stuff is bought and left unused and pounds of food are discarded extravagantly… Needless to say, it’s not our favorite part of this happy time of the year. That’s why we’ve put together a whole list of tips and ideas to make your Christmas as green and clean as possible:
- Make Christmas dinner at home and involve the whole family: Make a recipe plan, go grocery shopping together and teach the little ones how to make your favourite dishes. Cooking for yourself is not only an empowering skill, it is a pro-environment choice (no wasted packaging, less food waste).
- Choose locally grown vegetables & fruits: The food is riper and filled with more nutrients because it’s seasonal and it’s also better for the planet (no air miles) while supporting our growing farmers community. Head on out to local organic markets such as the Ripe Market and put together a basket of freshly grown goodies to serve at your family feast.
- Make sustainable protein choices: Meats should be grass-fed and pasture-reared; poultry and eggs should be cage-free, free-range and antibiotic/hormone free; seafood should be wild or organic. All of these choices mean you are supporting farming communities, ocean conservation and safe treatment of animals. Not to mention all the health benefits! Animals raised with respect on a diet they are biologically evolved to eat are more nutritious.
- Support local artisans by choosing condiments, relishes, jams and pickles made in Dubai: We have so much selection here, there is no excuse for the imported kind!
- Be discerning with your online shopping: Choose e-commerce platforms promoting goods that are made ethically using fair labor practices like PhatRice.com.
- Support 1 to 1 conscious capitalism business models: You buy one item, and one is donated to communities in need like TOMS Shoes or Wishbones flip flops.
- Choose certified Fair Trade foods as stocking stuffers and to use for your Christmas meals, i.e. chocolate, tea and coffee. Marks & Spencers Food has a great selection.
- Buy social enterprise products that are working to empower disenfranchised communities in Hong Kong.
- Give the kiddies experiences instead of things: Surprise them with a weekend trip, a private music or athletic lesson or a day out to somewhere fun – kids cherish memories, not things.
- Say no to plastics: Choose toys made from natural fibers and materials like fabric and wood that can be reused for generations.
- Ask everyone in the family to make one homemade gift each: You can cut down on all the buying, plus everyone loves that home crafted touch!
- Wrap everything with old newspaper and magazines instead of store bought wrapping paper: It’s not like anyone actually keeps it so what’s the point of bothering?
- Spend one day during the holidays volunteering with the fam: Visit an orphanage with a bag of gifts or participate in a feed the hungry program. There’s so much you can do and give to those less fortunate during this season, and it’s a great life lesson for the kiddos!