INSIGHTS: Sustainable Decisions and Happy Holidays

The year 2011 is nearing its conclusion, and we hope it’s been a good one for you and your business.  We love this exciting time of year, it’s perfect for reflecting and starting fresh for the next year to come.  Even though times (both at work and at home) are extremely busy for most of us as the year comes to a close and the holidays are here … there seems to be some kind of mutual understanding that this time is a happy time to enjoy each other’s company, to celebrate the good things in life, to take a break, to be generous to each other. 

  • Reuse or recycle where possible: save gift wrappings and ribbons from presents. With the amount of paper that each of us uses to wrap presents, it’s a good idea to come up with some creative solutions that also make your gift more unique at the same time.  Cost-free and environmentally friendly solutions can include recycling of gift bags, creating fabric gift bags that encourage reuse, and even wrapping from comic strips to old calendars to maps and posters!
  • Cards: buy sustainably or try homemade cards.  Think of the statistics that come out of Woodland Trust efforts:  Each year Woodland Trust runs a campaign to collect and recycle Christmas cards to raise awareness of recycling, all recycled cards help raise money to plant more trees.  In the 12 years the campaign has been running, more than 600 million cards have been recycled, enabling the Woodland Trust to plant more than 141,000 trees, save over 12,000 tons of paper from landfill and stop over 16,000 tons of CO2 from going into the atmosphere – the equivalent to taking more than 5,000 cars off the road for a year.  Many options exist to buy cards from recycled materials, from charitable organizations (e.g. UNICEF or WWF) or to make your own (easy to do and very personal and unique).  And why not deliver the cards to people nearby yourself by bike or by foot: it saves money, gives you a nice and healthy work-out, and saves greenhouse gas emission.
  • Food: buy organic and local.  Holidays are all about yummy food and warm meals with good company.  Make this yummy food more sustainable and you have even better food, not only for you, but for the environment, for local communities, for everyone.  It’s not hard to grab a few of our white papers or doing some quick research on your own on the impact of buying locally to find out about the major impact you have with everything you buy.

All these celebrations do not have to put a major burden on the environment. Sustainable choices are really the most effective when they become a way of life, and once you embed some sustainable habits into your routine the rest will come naturally.  With little effort, everyone can make their impact smaller.  Here are just some quick ideas, for example, to think of during this time of year and every day really … and it’s too late to try them out now!

It isn’t hard to make sustainable decisions during this holiday season and in 2012, it can actually be fun and creative! 

We’ll be off for the holidays, and signing off with our last blog post for the year today.  A warm thank you goes out for your support this year!  We wish you a joyful holiday season and an outstandingly prosperous 2012.