What is sustainability?
Sustainability is the responsible use of environmental resources in the present so future generations will have enough to meet their needs. This is a lofty goal! How can any one person make a difference in reaching it?
Take a second look at your usual holiday activities and see if you can make them more "sustainable". If it's too late for this year, start planning now for 2018!
Here are a few holiday suggestions you can implement to have a greater positive effect on our planet.
- After Christmas, dispose of your living tree responsibly by checking with your community to see how to return your tree to the environment in an eco-friendly way.
- Use fewer or no lights in your decorations. If you must use lights, use LED and put them on a timer.
- When you shop, take your own bags. This applies to all shopping, not just Christmas.
- Consider alternatives to traditional gift giving. Give in ways that support your local community; tickets to local theater, concerts, sports events, museums. Gift certificates for a massage, horseback riding, restaurants, amusement parks. Donate to charity in the name of a friend or relative.
- Use creative materials for gift wrap; old maps, calendars, sheet music, advertisements, newspaper, paper grocery bags. Use old holiday cards as gift tags.
- Plan meals carefully so you don't waste food. Use real plates and utensils instead of disposables. Try to make recipes that use very little meat --excessive meat consumption has a very detrimental effect on the environment as it uses massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water. Try to buy in bulk to avoid extra packaging.
By incorporating a few new ideas into your holiday traditions, you can contribute to sustainability and, at the same time, simplify your life! The more you follow sustainable practices, the more it becomes "second nature".
Information provided by Kathy Corbin, member of the Leawood Sustainability Advisory Board.