Christmas is widely celebrated in Goa by going to church, putting up festive decor, attending parties and gifting, apart from hanging out with your loved ones.
Festivals also mean generation of waste that actually could have been avoided. So, this Christmas, it is time to make our lives more meaningful by adopting green ideas to celebrate the festival.
Gift wraps that are hard to pull apart are torn and thrashed. Secondly, gifts being sent across nations via courier increase the carbon footprint.
Also, we will do well if we save electricity this Christmas. Many keep the decorative lights on throughout the night leading to consumption of energy.
So how can you contribute to a cleaner Christmas celebration?
1. Reuse decor
Decor usually lasts many years, especially when it is of good quality. So, reuse that old decor and store it carefully at the end of the season to be reused again. Just place it differently if you're craving for that new look.
2. Encourage regifting
While regifting has been looked down upon, it is the way to reduce waste. If you want use something out of compulsion, then the best thing would be to gift that item to someone who will appreciate it more. This will save the world from a lot of unnecessary production and use of our limited resources.
3. Ditch single use items
Use of single-use items, especially of materials that cannot be used entirely after recycling, must be discouraged. A lot of resources go into producing single-use items. It will be prudent to use cutlery, crockery and glasses available at home or borrow them from a friend or a crockery bank for your the Christmas party!
4. Thrift shop
If you absolutely need a change in wardrobe or elsewhere, choose thrifting. These are preloved items in great condition that can be easily reused.
5. Manage your waste responsibly
Clean and segregate your waste into categories like glass, tin, foil, PET, MLP, pure plastic, paper and so on before giving it to your local waste collection centre.
6. Shop local
Shopping locally for anything reduces carbon footprint. Even if you're having to give something to someone in another state or country, try to shop locally over there and have it directly delivered.
7. Switch off when not needed
Switch off the decor lights and others too when you're not at home or heading to bed. This will save electricity.
8. Refill containers
While shopping for foods like snacks or sweets, take your container along and get it filled. This will help avoid single-use packaging, including boxes, tapes and cling wraps.
9. Choose public transport
While travelling to church, friend’s place or shopping or anywhere elese, choose public transport. This will help decrease air pollution and traffic. If that's not possible, choose to car pool or share a scooter ride.
10. Don’t waste food
Many times, there is excess food prepared in case there are extra guests at parties. Eat it another day, freeze it or donate it to a food bank where the poor can pick it up.
(Heena Shah is an avid traveller and covers topics such as sustainable travel and lifestyle. Got comments, suggestions? Contact: Explorer.firstname.lastname@example.org)