The Holidays can be a challenging time for the environmentally conscious; remaining true to eco-friendly values, while delighting friends and family with thoughtful and original gifts.
Previously, the Holidays brought non recyclable wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and cellophane; an abundance of lights glowing all night long; too much food, thrown out or relegated to the back of an overstuffed refrigerator, and the list goes on…
Maybe it’s time to start new Holiday traditions? In the spirit of all things ecological, we’ve brought forward a few thoughts on the subject.
Using LED holiday lights, and plugging them on timers decreases electrical energy use. For outdoor decorations, consider using natural and sustainable materials from your yard. Trimmed branches and cuttings from your fall cleanup are gorgeous when grouped in large garden urns, along with a natural jute bow and a few twinkling LED lights. A well-placed soft LED spotlight on a stunning tree, landscape grouping, or doorway is a classic decoration technique. If you have snow, let the lights shine across it, as this produces a soft twinkling effect, perfectly seasonal.
After all, isn’t Nature the best decorator there is?
Supporting the local economy by visiting Holiday Craft Fairs and Markets are a great way to encourage friends and neighbours, while purchasing unique well-made gifts at the Holidays. This year, there’s also been a shift to Virtual Winter Markets online, and there are many to choose from. Most vendors are still local artists and artisans, bakers and craftspeople, and the products are usually made with local ingredients and supplies. It’s the very definition of ‘shop local’! As early as October, check for the dates and locations of Holiday Markets and Fairs online and in your area.
Here are more gift ideas that can support the local economy. Due to the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, most of these merchants will gladly offer gift cards without expiry dates:
-local theatre tickets
-lessons or classes from a local merchant (ex baking, horseback riding, yoga, etc)
-sporting event tickets
-making a donation in their name to a loved-one’s favourite cause or charity.
Recycled and recyclable Kraft paper has been elevated to chic status of course, but there are other ways to hide the prize:
-Fabric items, such as scarves and kitchen towels, serve double duty by also being a part of the gift! (Pâmoison has gorgeous handmade kitchen towels that could do nicely here!)
-Reusable containers and tins can be lovely and serviceable as gift wrap.
-Even a clean recyclable cardboard box, outfitted with natural twine, greenery or dried flowers becomes an original and eco gift wrap idea.
This year, keep food quantities in check by considering pre-planned menus, and food shopping cutoff dates. It’s often those last minute runs to the grocery store that load up the pantry and kitchen counters to excess. If you enjoy baking and cooking, make those events as memorable as possible, by sharing the experience with family and friends, and thus highlighting the delicious ingredients. Many treasured Holiday memories involve food preparation and mealtimes.
Local restaurants and grocery stores now offer prepared meal options for those who choose not to spend time in the kitchen. These can be delicious alternatives, made by knowledgeable and talented cooks and chefs. An amazing gift idea is to offer a catered take-out meal to friends and family, as this supports local businesses and lets everyone relax, not just the guests!
Year after year, it will get easier to keep earth conscious practises in mind when making decisions during the festive Season. Let’s let the Holidays be about spending quality time with our loved ones and reflecting on the simple beauty and splendour that surrounds us.
Pâmoison wishes you all safe and happy Holidays!