Who doesn’t love Christmas? ‘Tis the season to give, receive, eat and be merry and we’re already wearing bursting with yuletide cheer! The tree is trimmed, presents are popping up under it in the middle of the night (Is that you, Santa?) and the letter box is filled with cards from friends and family. Not to mention all the parties. Does anyone actually work in December?!
That being said, the holidays can also be a time for excess, waste and materialism too. Thousands of trees are torn down in the form of wrapping paper, tonnes of plastic stuff is bought and left unused and pounds of food are discarded extravagantly…Needless to say, it’s not our favorite part of this happy time of the year. Which is why Green Queen has put together a whole list of tips and ideas to make your Christmas as green and clean as possible:
- Make Christmas dinner at home and involve the whole family: make a recipe plan, go grocery shopping together and teach the littles ones how to make your favorite dishes. Cooking for yourself is not only an empowering skill, it is a pro-environment choice (no wasted packaging, less food waste).
- Choose locally grown vegetables & fruits– it’s better for you: the food is riper and filled with nutrients because it is seasonal and it’s better for the planet (no air miles) and it supports our growing farmers community. Take the kids out to a farm and put together a basket of freshly grown goodies to serve at your family feast.
- Make sustainable protein choices: meats should be grass-fed & pasture-reared; poultry and eggs should be cage-free, free-range and antibiotic/hormone free; seafood should be wild or organic. All of these choices mean you are supporting farming communities, ocean conservation and safe treatment of animals. Not to mention all the health benefits! Animals raised with respect on a diet they are biologically evolved to eat are more nutritious.
- Support local artisans by choosing condiments, relishes, jams and pickles made in Hong Kong: we have so much selection, there is no excuse for the imported kind.
- Do your holiday shopping on e-commerce platforms that promote goods that are made ethically using fair labor practices like PhatRice.com.
- Support 1 to 1 conscious capitalism business models: you buy one item, and one is donated to communities in need like Tom’s Shoes or Wishbones flip flops.
- Choose certified Fair Trade foods as stocking stuffers and for the main meals especially chocolate, tea, coffee- Marks & Spencer Food has a great selection.
- Buy social enterprise products like So…Soap! that are working to empower disenfranchised communities in Hong Kong.
- Give the kiddies experiences instead of things: a weekend trip, a private music or athletic lesson or a day out to somewhere fun- kids cherish memories not things.
- Say no to plastics: choose toys made from natural fibers and materials like fabric and wood that can be reused for generations.
- Ask everyone in the family to make one homemade gift each- cut down on all the buying. Plus everyone loves that home crafted touch!
- Wrap everything with old newspapers & magazines instead of store bought wrapping paper. It’s not like anyone actually keeps it so what’s the point of bothering?
- Spend one day during the holidays volunteering with the fam: visit an orphanage with a bag of gifts, participate in a feed the hungry program– there is so much you can do and giving to those less fortunate in our season of plenty is a great life lesson for the kidlings.
A version of this post was previously published on Sassy Mama Hong Kong.