Doing Good during the Holidays

30 Dec

So the past week’s 30 Ways in 30 Days actions have centered around the holidays and what we can do at this time of year, through small actions, to make the world a better place. I’m not going to list all the week’s actions – you can find them at Take Part’s website – but here are a few of my favorites:

Skip the Mall—Make Edible Gifts

This is one of my favorites, because I am not really into holiday gift-giving. I don’t care for the over-consumption and the excess that comes with holidays, nor do I care for the stress that goes along with people running around buying presents for other people who don’t “need” anything. I prefer to buy something for someone I care about, whenever I see something that I know they would cherish. I also like giving consumables, so this action was perfect.

Still got gifts to buy but don’t want to spend a ton of money at the mall? Check out our video series Better Than Store-Bought Gifts and learn how to make beautiful, incredibly easy food gifts to give to your family, friends, and even your pets.

Choose Fun Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

This is another awesome idea – although I did wrap the few presents I bought for kids this season, my family often teases me for never wrapping gifts, or giving them in the bag they came in. Why not? Gift wrap, while pretty, is a waste of resources – both money and paper. But these great ideas can make a present look really nice, with the added benefit of reusing.

Did you know that most wrapping paper is not recyclable? Not to mention that gift wrap and bags can get pretty pricey…

The good news is there are all kinds of fun alternatives. Here is a list of our favorites! I personally love the map wrapping idea.

Make a Sustainable and Delicious Holiday Meal

Check out our food editors’ recipe picks for a completely delicious Christmas dinner and then get shopping at your local farmers market.

I really like this too – if you follow this blog, you know that one of my 30 Day projects was Eating Locally, and I love cooking. This Christmas, I used my farmhouse delivery box and a trip to the farmers market to make a butternut squash/winter greens gratin and a bread pudding that I learned in Virginia Willis’ cooking class at Central Market. Big hit!

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

If you haven’t done it yet, now is the time.

Instead of shoving your Christmas tree in your dumpster this year, recycle it the sustainable way. Click on the Take Action button to go to Earth 911’s recycling center guide. Type in your city and ‘Christmas Tree’ to find tree recycling locations near you.

Outside of the holidays, there were a few other recent Take Part 30 Ways actions that I really liked, and would recommend you check out:

This project, and my entire 30 Days at a Time experiment, is coming to an end. Tomorrow, I will share a recap of what I learned throughout the year and what I have gotten out of this “year of conscious living.” But don’t despair! I will also be unveiling a BRAND NEW BLOG for 2012….so stay tuned!

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