post by Patrick Isaac
Are you looking for ways to shop sustainably this holiday season? Patrick Isaac, a sustainable design graduate student at Philadelphia University and a participant in the MilkCrate for Communities (M4C) PhilaU pilot shared with us how he takes on the holidays sustainably – with a little inspiration from his deeply rooted values and his time spent using M4C!
The holidays are quickly approaching. Are you wondering how you can celebrate in a way that doesn’t negatively affect the environment? How you can slow down the hustle and bustle of the season, act consciously and think about what truly matters? This is not a full list, but the below ideas will hopefully spark some creativity for how we can celebrate the holiday consciously – all while still showing our #SustainableSpirit.
A Greener Christmas Tree
Let’s start with the tree. Typically, the choice lies between a plastic tree or classic Douglas fir, but both are destined for the curb. According to the article “Real Vs Artificial Christmas Tree: What the science says,” the main raw material for fake Christmas trees is both nonrenewable and polluting, and you can’t recycle it.
Instead, I suggest getting a potted version. For those traditionalists out there, a dwarf potted pine tree makes a great piece which will grow over the seasons. It helps with the air quality inside your home, and not just because of the pleasant pine smell. Plus, there is no need to throw it out! Water it, put it out in the garden or terrace during the off-season, bring it back in the following year. When it gets too big, plant it and get a new one to start all over again.
Instead of getting physical things for your friends and family this year, consider sharing experiences. While tearing open presents can be exciting, once you are done with your new gadget, it (and all its the packaging) get tossed.
Consider making your gift this year a memory – like a trip to see a performance, play or museum exhibit, or an excursion to go ice skating and drink hot chocolate. While you’re out with loved ones, take pictures, frame them, and enjoy looking back on them for years to come.
If doing a gift exchange is unavoidable, look into upcycling, shopping local or giving something handmade! All of these options are much more sustainable, as you are re-purposing and saving fuel and CO2 emissions. In addition, you are supporting your local economy and getting a chance to give creatively, showing an extra dose of thoughtfulness.
For even more ideas, check out this amazing compilation of ways to give and have a positive social impact by our friends at Generocity.
These are just a few ways you can act consciously this holiday season. Share your inventive idea for a green holiday with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with #SustianableSpirit!