The much-awaited festive season is approaching, and there is such excitement in the air! Catching up with friends and family, dressing up in our best, eating, drinking and dancing our way through the next few months is something we all deserve. The quiet of last year, though dull, gave my family and me a chance to reflect on how we can reboot our lives and meaningfully contribute to our society and environment.
The festive season is a time of togetherness and celebration, which usually means more consumption – more food, more shopping, more of everything. However, we, humans, are already using up the resources of one and a half planet. While we need a drastic lifestyle change to save our planet's limited resources, we can start by agreeing to celebrate festivals in an eco-friendly way.
Here are a few things to consider as we pledge to be more eco-conscious throughout the festival season:
Don't light it up – too much
Over-consumption of energy drains the resources of nature, so dim the lights. If you haven't invested in LED fairy lights, rechargeable battery-powered or solar-powered lights, then make this the year you get around to it. These will add sparkle to both indoor and outdoor spaces for Diwali and look beautiful on a Christmas tree too!
Get into the Green Scene
This festive season shop at your home and upcycle or recycle household items into holiday décor and costumes. Most have started to reuse Christmas decorations, which is positive for the planet. Increase the longevity of decorations by removing and storing them carefully and using black tack instead of tape. Avoid store-bought plastic décor this Diwali. Instead, use organic herbal colours, rice, dry fruits and flower petals for rangoli decorations. You can add clay diyas (oil lamps made of baked clay) to light up the setting as a finishing touch. And remember to compost after! Try your hand at costume design this Halloween by creating a masterpiece from old clothes and things lying around the house. This UAE National Day marks the country's golden anniversary as the young nation turns 50. Environment-friendly and sustainable UAE flags and patriotic emblems are available in all leading stores across the country, or you can even spend some quality time together as a family as you craft one on your own!
Help Thy Neighbour, Buy local products
Nowadays gifts are available from different parts of the world, but transportation of these gifts is a significant contributor temperature increases and emission of greenhouse g, leading to climate change. So instead, look for gifts in local shops and fairs.
Local and small businesses have developed great products using recycled or plastic-free materials. Supporting these businesses promotes making the best use of available and eco-friendly materials. One of the meaningful gifts you can give this festive season is an educational workshop with Ecobee, a platform formed to make youth & adults more responsible towards environmental sustainability. Our workshops are delivered in a fun and practical manner. They include talks with experts, a progressive learning path and a reward point system, which one can redeem from our eShop to ensure continuous motivation and engagement.
Thinking about the weight you will put on this festive season? What you put on your plate this holiday doesn't necessarily mean having to cut back on the celebration. Rather than serving yourself as much as possible, try and enjoy quality over quantity. Make arrangements in advance to donate leftover food to different charities and organizations. Go prepared with a list as you go grocery shopping so that you don't overbuy, and don't forget to take a chance on 'ugly' food to reduce food waste.
I hope these simple tips for sustainable celebrations will help you enjoy a fulfilling eco-friendly festive season. For more details, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org