Making the Holidays a Little Greener
The snow, the songs, the sparkling lights – there’s just something magical about this time of year that always brings me back to my childhood.
I can still remember bolting out of bed in the early hours of the morning, sneaking downstairs to find our stockings full of neat unwrapped items, then quickly running to the tree to see if Santa and his reindeer had brought me that one special gift I had been wishing for.
Back then, the holidays were more about family and friends coming together, enjoying a glass of eggnog by the fire while laughing over a family board game. It was simpler then. It seemed a lot more environmentally friendly.
At West 5 we strive to reduce, reuse and recycle. But, even those of us who are careful can get caught up in the excitement of the season. We challenged our team to come up with some fun ways to save on waste, here are just a few the ideas to make holiday gift giving a little bit ‘greener.’
1 – Buy it forward. It always feels great to do something for somebody else. Donating your time or money to a charity close to your friend or loved one’s heart is a wonderful gift for everyone.
2 – Build a memory. Whether it’s a family trip to the aquarium or a day spent outdoors on the slopes, gifts that give people experiences are often the best. They enhance our lives in ways that material items simply cannot and they leave lasting memories.
3 – Shop locally. There are many markets, specialty stores and talented craftspeople in your City. What you buy supports your community, and walking helps to keep just a little bit more CO2 out of the air. If your gift can’t be purchased locally, consider ordering in groups so your packages are shipped together or all at once.
4 – Made with Love. Spend a snowy afternoon indoors with the kids making your own gifts. Fresh baked cookies, candles, artwork or even a handwritten card or letter are all thoughtful gifts that will be treasured.
5 – Wrap creatively. Often, todays wrapping paper is not recyclable due to plastic, foil, or glitter. Unfortunately, that means most of it gets sent straight to the landfill. Think outside the box (so to speak) this holiday season – look no further than your old copies of the LFP, Business London and Scene magazine, they make excellent wrapping paper, they rip and tear easily and can be recycled after the big day. I like reusable bags for wrapping with a piece of ribbon tied around the top. Even a reusable bag from one of the farmers’ market is a great option and can also be used afterwards.
This holiday season enjoy time spent with family, time away from work and time to connect (or maybe it is disconnect). Whatever your family traditions are, Happy Holidays to all.