The holiday season is all about spending time with family and friends, and often its about getting together to share a meal. While this might still look a little different in some places around the world in 2020, there will hopefully still be some family events for some of us.
The only negative of a wonderful family gathering is that these meals often produce a tonne of waste, and I know sometimes this can leave me jaded and disconnected about the entire holiday season. However, there are some small ways that we can make a big difference to the total amount of waste, so here are some ways you can make a big change this Christmas.
- Suggest reusable items – Last week, one of my family members had a BBQ and without any prompting, she asked if a couple of family members could bring some extra cutlery to the event as she did not have enough. Impressively, not one person suggested that she simply get disposable ones, they just brought what they had. There was no conversation about the environmental impacts, as she didn’t preach at them – she simply made the request.
- Volunteer for the cleanup – Sometimes, whether its cutlery or another reusable, the pushback might be about the cleanup. Whether you are the host or not, volunteering for the cleanup beforehand, or simply jumping in when it needs doing will help others be less overwhelmed.
- Bringing food you are happy with – whether it’s a meat-free product or something that is package-free, if you bring food that can be shared, then people might try something they normally wouldn’t come across, without the pressure that can come with trying something out of your comfort zone.
- Meet people where they are at – When it comes to gifts, I often want to purchase people something that would make their lives more eco-friendly, but unless someone has expressed interest in these types of items, your gift might never get used. Give them an experience instead, or, find out what they really will get value from, and buy them that instead.
The trick for me with all of these is getting people to be more eco-friendly, without it feeling like we are judging their current decisions. I sometimes struggle to remember that I wasn’t always on this path, but there are little things I can do to guide the way for others if they want to join this journey.
Happy Holidays Everyone! And Stay Safe!
Note: This is an updated version of a blog from November, 2019.