A Green Christmas
Sharing the gift of sustainability this Holiday Season
We are deep into December, and the spirit of the Holidays are alive and well! It is a time of sharing - with family, with the bambarkada, and with everyone in need of kindness. Giving and sharing does not just come in the form of gifts; but also in shared experiences and action. Of course, one of our favorite Holiday activities are bike rides with friends through the cool December air. With all that we do in the spirit of the season, we want to put the spotlight on a loved one in need of kindess: the planet. This Christmas, we want to put a spotlight on an important matter and what we can do to include the Earth in our gift-giving.
With all the celebration and merriment that goes around during the Holiday season, it is easy to get carried away with the festivities. Most of us can relate to being one slice of ham too stuffed, or one cup of eggnog too full, or a cocktail too tipsy at the countless parties and gatherings of the season. As much as the Holidays are a time of joy, it can also be a time of over-consumption; and that is not just speaking of our personal indulgences.
Did you know that world wide waste is 30% greater around the Christmas season compared to the rest of the year? Did you know that about 66% of shoppers admit to buying too much food for their Holiday celebrations? The Holidays are also marked by a sharp increase in energy consumption in terms of electricity use, and fuel consumption that ultimately leads to a larger carbon footprint. The point is, Holidays have become synonymous with over-consumption. Although this can be attributed to media and advertising-driven consumerism, and societal pressure - the small steps we can take as individuals all add up to make big changes.
As makers of handmade bamboo bikes, we encourage choosing gift options from industries that come from similarly sustainability-driven initiatives. You can opt for products made from sustainably sourced raw materials. You can support local industries to reduce reliance on the fuel-demand of global freight and shipping. You can choose gifts made by small businesses and artisans that do not rely on emission-heavy industrial scale machinery. One of the most fun options is to consider handmade gifts that you can make yourself! You can even go a step further and opt to use recycled materials for wrapping your gifts. Stepping back to look at the big picture, the cause is much greater than the individual action. Giving a sustainably made and wrapped gift is one less wasteful product, but it carries with it a message about taking care of the planet and could encourage recipients to take action in their own little ways.
Let us reclaim the Holidays for joy, love, and merriment, and away from overconsumption.You can make a fun activity and have a little holiday family bonding by making your own decorations from recycled materials, art supplies, and a little creativity. Using energy-efficient alternatives like LED lights is exponentially less wasteful than traditional incandescent decorations and come with smaller electricity bills to boot. Don’t throw away what you have; re-using decor from previous years does not just reduce overall waste, it also saves you quite a bit of money!
Being sustainable does not mean you should not have that extra bit of fun and calories this Christmas. It just means being a little more conscious of what we consume. Perhaps more importantly, it means being more conscious of what we “don't” consume. Waste reduction is key to sustainability. Remember, every small effort counts, and collectively, these actions can make a significant positive impact on the environment during the holiday season. Your own efforts not just reduce personal overconsumption, but you also act as an example - showing others how easy and enjoyable it can be to have a sustainable holiday season.