Mike Keen and Krista Bailey
IU South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future
Looking for an alternative to a consumption-driven celebration of the holidays? All too often, the “reason for the season” is swallowed up by the crush of over crowded malls and over scheduled days. If you’d like to be festive without the frenzy, try these 12 simple and easy to follow tips to create a more meaningful and fulfilling holiday, while giving the most precious gift there is: the gift of a sustainable future.
- Reduce your carbon footprint by giving the taste of local flavor in the form of unique and locally produced foods, beverages, arts, and crafts that have not been shipped across the country of half way around the world.
- Reuse your holiday ornaments and decorations by choosing them thoughtfully or making them carefully so they become old friends to be brought out and cherished year after year and passed down from one generation to the next.
- Recycle any materials you cannot reuse when the holiday is over.
- Rethink what the holidays are all about.
- Resist all the hype and advertising telling you that the only way to have a happy holiday is to purchase it through the latest gadget or fad.
- Reignite your creativity by giving a unique gift that only you can give: something you made yourself, or a special promise in the form of a customized gift certificate redeemable for a priceless bit of your undivided time and attention for an experience only you can provide.
- Reconnect to your cultural heritage by spending an evening recollecting the stories and celebrating the richness of the cultural traditions you grew up with; i.e. Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hannukah, Eid.
- Reenergize the holiday by creating your own new traditions and memories to share with family and friends and pass on from one generation to the next.
- Reaffirm yours, and your friend’s and family’s, commitment to and connection with the well-being of others by giving the gift of philanthropy in the form of a donation to a local, national, or international charity in their honor.
- Restore your faith in the common good of humanity by joining family and friends in volunteering for a local charity or service project.
- Rekindle the joy and wonder you felt as a child anticipating the holidays by planning excursions and gatherings with friends and family of all ashes to give you that sense of eager anticipation of the coming celebration.
- Rejoice in the spirit of the season and the contributions you have made to a sustainable future.
What ideas and links do you have to share? There are many more ways we can put simplicity into action for fun and sustainability.
Oh, and after the holidays, don’t forget that regifting is sustainability in action!