Nature is the gift that keeps on giving. Its bounty is both vast and varied. We all draw from nature, whether it's for food, water, medicine, beautiful plants, and animals, or spiritual connections. Sadly, we have depleted nature's basket, and every day, its abundance diminishes. Here's how you can have festive fun without overburdening Mother Nature.
Minimise your waste
It is said that the festive season is one of the most wasteful. During the holiday season, millions of tonnes of waste end up in landfills. By taking these simple steps, you can reduce the amount of waste you produce, whether you are buying gifts or food. The easiest way to avoid waste is to remember the 4Rs - Refuse, Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle. Refuse to follow fads and buy only what you need. Minimize items that harm the environment, especially those made from plastic or packaged in plastic. Buy durable, re-usable items instead of cheap items that will not last very long. Choose locally made crafts and food items that don't need packaging. Avoid single-use cutlery. Make it easy for your family or guests to dispose of recyclable items such as glass bottles.
Avoid single-use cutlery (Photo by Lara Jameson from Pexels)
Everyone loves to spruce up their homes during this season. Why not spruce up your garden with plants that will endure for generations to come? Whether it's fruit trees or native plants that are wildlife-friendly, beneficial trees will continue to serve you for years to come. Plant flowers that attract pollinators, such as bees, to your garden, but choose native ones if you can. Set up a beehive to profit from bees. Send your kitchen waste to the compost heap to enrich your garden. And if you don't have space for a garden, try vegetables and herbs in pots that can be put on balconies or small spaces. They are also great for gifting!
Vegetables and herbs in pots are great gifts to yourself and others
Visit your mother
It's nice to see loved ones during Christmas. And Mother Nature longs to see you. Why don't you opt-out of an indoor Christmas and spend it outside? Take a walk, hike, swim, snorkel, or try birdwatching or camping. Remember to live nothing behind but your footprint and if you can, carry a litter bag and do a clean-up along the way.
Use eco-friendly or recyclable wrapping for your presents and do-it-yourself decorations to make your home festive. Do you have saved up wrappings from birthdays, christenings, baptisms, confirmations and even last year's Christmas? You can re-use these to dress up your gifts. Or use newspaper or any used paper and sass it up with broken pieces of jewellery. Make hand-made cards from eco-friendly materials. Get the kids involved, they love to be creative. If you are one to put up a Christmas tree, buy an eco-friendly one or make one yourself. Re-use your tree or if you've bought a new one, keep it carefully for the coming years. If you have Christmas lights, try not to keep them on all the time to save energy. Social Media is great for ideas and inspiration.
Make your own decorations such as this Santa made of collected beach litter by Stef of MyBeachProject in Praslin (Photo by Kevin Renaud)