Most holiday ideas stress people out. We complain of being too busy, spending too much money, and not enjoying the time we instinctively know we should be enjoying. We feel a sense of obligation to “do” or “buy”. We often listen to what we feel are Have To’s, instead of what our instincts tell us.
The underlying message of all eco-friendly holidays: Simplify.
Greening your holidays shouldn’t only impact the environment; it should also positively impact our experiences. By simplifying what we do and how we do it, we are better able to slow down, relax and enjoy our loved ones and our celebrations.
Make Your Holiday Ideas Sustainable
A sustainable holiday is one that holds meaning to us. Whether it’s a spiritual or religious belief or a family or personal tradition, we should enjoy and prioritize what is most important first.
Start by finding your focus: identifying your own sense of tradition or importance within any holiday. What matters most to you? What do you not wish to lose and what do you wish to gain?
Once you’ve found your focus, move from that place and examine every detail.
- Identify Stress: Look for things that give you a sense of dread or cause you to stress. Why is it stressful? Is it necessary? If so, can you simplify it? If not, how can you eliminate it or find an alternative for it?
- Identify Waste: Looks for and make a list of things that create wasted resources (including money, time or other things). These are the things for which you’ll be seeking alternatives.
- Involve Others: The holidays are about spending time with others. Talk to friends, family members and co-workers. Recruit your neighbors. Share ideas and work on making changes together.
- Relax! You may not be able to make sweeping changes in one season. Decide what to tackle first: one big thing or several little things; the stressers or the wasters. Set a goal and do what you can.