Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Have an Eco-conscious Christmas

No, it doesn’t feel like winter at all, and it is really quite a bummer for those of us who aren’t used to spending Christmas like our counterparts in the Southern Hemisphere do. But who can we blame but ourselves, for the greenhouse gases that are causing global warming?

It’s not too late – we hope – to go green, especially during festivities like Christmas, when we tend to consume more than we normally do. Here are a few tips on an eco-conscious Christmas.

1. The Tree: We still remember the excitement of putting up the tree and decorating it with all things imaginable when we were young. But disposing of the tree is always a problem. If you’re going for real trees, know that Hong Kong Environmental Protection Association runs a collection programme where unwanted Christmas trees are taken to a recycling centre in Tuen Mun, and turned into organic fertiliser used to promote green projects at schools.

2. Gifting: You’ve probably realised that the older you grow, the things that you want for Christmas tend not to be things that money can buy. For many of us, in fact, a hearty home-cooked dinner with family and friends is a gift in itself. But if you must buy a gift, make it a meaningful purchase – buy from fair trade, ethical and environmentally responsible producers, or better still, sponsor an endangered animal or a sustainable programme.

3. Wrapping: I don’t know many people who would actually keep the wrappers, except artists who repurpose the wrappers, so if you must wrap your gifts, use recycled paper or newspaper.

4.  The feast: Naturally, you would want to spoil your loved ones at the dining table, but make sure you buy only what you can consume, and nothing goes to waste. There are umpteen ways to recycle the remnants of your Christmas feast, all it takes is a little creativity! Also, source locally to minimise your carbon footprint. While you’re at it, make sure the utensils and plates are reusable or biodegradable.