As with most mothers, it’s the simple things, the heart-felt things that matter most to the Earth. Practicing simple habits throughout the season can make a big difference.
Before purchasing a gift or other item for the holiday, do a quick mental checklist. Does the item have:
Tip: Give home-made gifts, an experience such as tickets to a play, museum, or movie, an activity such as ice skating, or a service such as a massage for a 100% score on your checklist.
Americans throw away about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. Non-material gifts win in this category as well. (Like most moms, I’m sure Mother Earth approves of a little healthy competition!) Experiences or services don’t need to be wrapped. Neither do football fields. We would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields if every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials. Ways to reuse materials:
About 40% of the food grown in the country is wasted, according to Forgotten Harvest, a food rescue organization in Southeast Michigan. One way to make a difference, they say, is to adjust your expectation of cosmetic beauty and buy “ugly” produce. Oddly-shaped produce often sits on the shelf and becomes waste before it is even sold. More ideas:
Keep it real whenever you can. Whether it’s a tree, a wreath, a swag, or table centerpiece, real greenery is healthier for you and the planet. Artificial trees and decorations are made of PVC plastic and cannot be recycled. They can also have lead, phthalates and other toxic chemicals. Experts recommend that parents don’t let children play under artificial trees. Real trees, on the other hand, are renewable, recyclable, and produce oxygen. Farmers plant one to three seedlings for every tree cut.
Opt for natural garlands as well, instead of beaded garlands. HealthyStuff research has found beaded garlands (that look like long strands of Mardi Gras beads) to contain a multitude of toxic contaminants, such as lead and high levels of hazardous flame-retardants.
Consider these ideas the ultimate handmade card to Mother Earth: they are not hard, they just take a little extra time, consideration, and love.
Published on December 14, 2016