If you care about people and want to demonstrate that care through the acquisition of material wealth: stop. This holiday season you should try something different by not buying material gifts for those you love and get them something else instead, like tickets to a play. The spirit of gift giving is nice and all, but with the ongoing climate crisis we need to adapt to the reality of consumerism. There are plenty of alternatives to physical objects, all you have to do is look.
Sarah Herr, a project assistant for Living Green Barrie, based north of Toronto, is well aware of this. She recently held a workshop called “Greening the Holidays,” which included tips on how to help your family transition to greener gifting. Here are some of her suggestions:
- Let them know you want to be more mindful about gift giving. You can do so by writing a post on social media or writing a Christmas letter or email to your loved ones, including how you are changing your holiday traditions to involve less waste.
- Tell them why you are doing things differently. Let them know your concerns about environmental pollution, climate change and waste.
- Provide alternatives. Your family will be much more likely to get on board if you let them know about new ways to give.
The David Suzuki Foundation has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the lack of ice coverage at the North Pole. Where Will Santa Live? is a fun spin on a serious issue and looks like a good way to talk about ice coverage while keeping the conversation entertaining.
“We’re asking Canadians to do something novel and give a gift to Santa this holiday season,” says David Suzuki. “We have to help Santa, the elves and the reindeer evacuate the North Pole and find a suitable temporary workshop in Canada.”
We hope you'll forgive us for having some fun with a beloved holiday figure. But climate change is no laughing matter.
Global warming is a serious problem, and poses a very real risk to all the winter traditions and experiences we as Canadians hold dear.
By supporting our “Where Will Santa Live?” campaign, you will be helping us develop a clean, renewable energy plan for Canada, affect climate policy decisions at a national and provincial level, and provide more resources to Canadians on how to go carbon neutral at home and at work, among many other initiatives.
Learn more about our work to turn back climate change and how you can take action to be part of the solution.
Many people who celebrate Christmas (or similar holidays of gift-giving) tend to focus on giving mass quantities or expensive gifts without regard. Man vs. Debt is a blog that focuses on getting rid of material things (and not getting new material goods) and they have a good post up on what you can do this Christmas to give something great to people and not committing acts of blind consumerism.
The plan on what to do is on you.
Courtney and I have decided to severely limit the gifts we buy this year. We won’t be buying for each other (instead we are making huge life changes – trust me – we are spending enough on those “gifts”).
We’ve bought a few small traditional “gifts” for younger family members, but decided that we would make small donations on behalf of any adults in our life. We’ll be browsing to attempt to find charities and non-profits that reflect the values of each family member and rather than buy them golf balls or a candle, we’ll make a small donation.
We are lucky that none of our family really cares about the “stuff”. The donations will be a valued gesture and by customizing each one, we show that we took time to think about and appreciate the personality of each family member.
Read more at Man Vs. Debt.