How to Have an Eco-Christmas
By Lani Edghill – Green Business Barbados Coordinator, Future Centre Trust
Throughout our daily lives many of us have been consciously trying to change our habits in order to live more sustainable lives. Some of the things that many Barbadians are getting more used to are; recycling, using reusable shopping bags, reducing water and energy consumption in many ways and also educating their families and friends on ways they can do the same. In this festive time of the year it is still important to think about how we can conserve precious resources and reduce our overall carbon footprint.
Some of the ways that you can become part of the solution this Christmas;
1. Send a holiday e-card instead of a paper card (this helps to save on paper and CO2 emissions) or make your own cards with collages from old magazines, etc.
2. Either buy an artificial tree or buy a real live tree in a pot, decorate it for Christmas, and then plant it after.
3. Turn your lights off before you go to bed and invest in smaller lights that use less energy. For those of you who have the opportunity to buy lights overseas invest in LED lights, they use much less energy.
4. Instead of giving everyone in your family a gift try picking names from a hat (where everyone only has to buy for one person). Giving less helps to reduce consumption and overall CO2 emissions, not to mention time and money!
5. Give homemade gifts, they cost less and can be very sentimental (a photo album, jewellery box made from shells from your last family vacation, research your family history and make a family tree, make your own soap, paper candles and/or baked goods).
6. Encourage green practices by giving sustainable gifts such as rechargeable batteries and charging station, reusable lunch boxes, recycle bins, reusable coffee mug or water bottle, reusable shopping bags, etc.
7. Instead of using new gift wrap for presents why not buy a bag and reuse it next year or get creative and use things like fabric, magazines and paper bags. Get even more creative by using things like old maps, posters, kids colouring books and so on. Keep your Christmas cards and cut out the front to make tags for next year.
What are some of the other ways we can reduce our footprint over the Christmas season?