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Ramya Murugan

Works at Bigziel | Posted on |

Greening Your Holiday Family Traditions


Holiday traditions are passed down through generations. Most often it involves excessive gift giving, eating, drinking and traveling. Although many traditions are an important part of the holidays there are ways they can be incorporated into the modern day green movement. By doing so you are sending a message to future generations, letting them know that it is up to them to carry the new torch.

Gift Opt-Out

Most people do not need another thing. Suggest to friends and family how environmentally friendly it would be to forego gift giving this year. This can reduce waste, thwart consumer addiction and eliminate financial stress. Instead, propose do-it-yourself green friendly gifts or donating to an eco-friendly charity like Greenpeace.

The Pot Luck Meal

Some families follow the tradition of each bringing a dish to the holiday meal. If you are having the holiday at your home, request an eco-friendly recipe that adds to environmental healing. This can include dishes that avoid red meat (a number one fossil fuel absorber); white sugar (responsible for high soil, water and air pollution as well as unfair treatment of workers); or veal (derived from torturing young calves by being raised in a box). Suggest using organic and/or local fare as well as tofu, tempeh or seitan.

Shut the Tube

Having a television constantly blaring during a holiday get together can actually cause noise pollution. Purdue University reported a study regarding less cognitive growth, delayed language skills, increased anxiety, and impaired resilience in children raised in homes with constant noise pollution. Keep background, non-invasive, positive music playing and your guests will follow suit.

Walk it Off

Not enough families enjoy an after dinner walk anymore. Before people drool at the holiday football game and pass out on the sofa or the kids plug into their electronics, get them up and out on a family walk. A healthy environment thrives from healthy inhabitants and a walk can enhance circulation, digestion, mental clarity and skeletal growth.

Group Read

Pick an inspiring, environmentally friendly story and gather your holiday party for a group read. It is a great way to connect with one another, show off performance skills or tackle public speaking fear as well as get a green message into everyone’s forethought.

World Wishing Well

After the eco-friendly holiday meal and before the gone green dessert set up a fun reprieve by creating a world wishing well. This is a unique way to read out loud issues that are important to your guests without revealing the author. Set a decorated holder on a table with scraps of blank paper and some writing utensils in front. Explain your mission by encouraging everyone to anonymously write and drop in an eco-concern, green tip or earth wish. Throughout the evening or all at once read the entries. It is a great way to get a green dialogue rolling.