Saturday, December 1, 2018

Monthly Mico-Action: Reflection

MLA's note: Laska is one of our fabulous Saanich South constituents, and she's also a guest blogger! Each month she provides a tip - or "micro-action" about how we can waste less and re-use more. Read on to find out what she has in store for this month! 
December is a great month for reflection; a time to measure progress throughout the year and check direction for the future; making sure you’re on course with what’s most important to you. It’s also a holiday season which typically means holiday traditions.

Traditions are important because they connect people to behaviors or beliefs with origins in the past. As sacred as traditions may seem, sometimes traditions can become stressful and one loses the sense of purpose behind them. But it’s the purpose that connects us, not the tradition. As we evolve so do our circumstances, our identities and our values, so naturally it's healthy to question the usefulness and purpose of rituals as we learn to be more environmentally friendly and support a sustainable existence for the long term.

Below are some traditional holiday rituals and suggestions for creating fresh new traditions that are simpler and more sustainable.

1. Keep the tradition of connection with family members and friends alive with digital holiday cards — no paper required. Send e-invites to your holiday parties and easily manage RSVPs. This option helps save trees, time and money.

2. Big family celebrations can be stressful enough without leaving stacks of dishes and linens to be done making disposal dishware seem like the best choice. I get it. But instead of looking at it as a chore, see cleaning up as another activity to do together as a family and coordinate it with music and dance. Why not load the dishwasher, put away clean items, or fold napkins to the sweet sounds of Michael Jackson. The kids will love it!

3. Gift wrapping. I know, this one can be tough. Especially if you enjoy coordinating the stickers, tags, ribbons and paper. I know I do! Enjoy the challenge of making beautiful packages from castoff materials. Brown paper with baker’s twine topped with a holly or twig is cheery, seasonal and compostable.

4. Conscious shopping. So many gifts out there are more packaging than they are gift, and the packaging is going to be thrown away. While Amazon is enticing (and convenient) consider supporting your local economy and buying a gift from a local retailer. And if you need to mail a gift to a friend or family member, a great option are e-gift certificates or actual gift certificates. They physically create zero or very little waste. Plus, the recipient can redeem them for something they truly want and will use.

Micro-Actions For December

Trying to keep to a zero waste lifestyle during the holidays can be challenging. But it’s important to remember that time spent with your loved ones making memories is the best gift so give yourself permission to just relax and enjoy the season.

I want to take a moment and say thank you for reading my posts and for considering ways to support a sustainable future through daily micro-actions. I hope I’ve provided useful information and tips on small changes you can make in your day-to-day lives so that you feel confident about our future.

Wishing you all a joyful holiday season and a waste-less New Year!