Five ways to cultivate sustainability this holiday season

Like our designs that are rooted in nature and wellbeing as well as economic principles that make sure our clients increase their bottom line, we believe it's important to be both practical and healthy. We know... it's much easier said than done. Here's how we suggest you can blend both over the festivities this holiday season, in ways that are far from unattainable.

4 minute read

6th December, 2023 | Remarcable

Navigating the holiday season with care

At this time of year being surrounded by 'Ho Ho Ho's' and 'Happy Holidays,' it can be easy to forget how crucial a time it is that we pay close attention to how the season has an effect on our health and on our environments; to help, this month we're featuring our top tips on maintaining a balanced state of mind and body, while cultivating sustainable solutions for celebrating an array of festivities.

It's all about balance

Like our designs that are rooted in nature and wellbeing as well as economic principles that make sure our clients increase their bottom line, we believe it's important to be both practical and healthy. We know... it's much easier said than done.

Here's a couple of suggestions you can blend both, in a way that's far from unattainable:

1. Even during these chilly winter months, be sure to allocate time for self-care practices, such as mindfulness or short breaks to alleviate stress. If you can bundle up, brave the cold, and head out for a walk, remember that often times while we avoid activities that may be seen as unfavourable at first, often times after a bit of exercise we can feel a lot better. Is a walk still not for you? Try a self-care activity without a specific outcome designated; like a series of stretches or maybe even belting a quick tune. It's not about reaching a goal or becoming Britain's Next Idol, it's about allowing yourself to do something that feels good simply for your own wellbeing.

2. We know it can be difficult to juggle maintaining a balanced diet while navigating a packed schedule of holiday gatherings, so why not change our perspective of them? One approach that we have found useful is to bring our own dishes to potlucks and parties so we know there is always a healthy option to turn to. When we do partake in all the many holiday treats in rotation, we like to cut standard portions in halves, this way, we can enjoy a further variety of tasty selections without the stress of limiting our choices or feeling guilty for overeating. Prioritising your diet over the holidays in ways that allow you to have fun but also not overload your body's usual capacity can help you feel more energised throughout the holidays and make sure you get to satisfy your sweet tooth too.

Let's talk sustainable options for the festivities

As an interior design company, we are always looking at ways to offset carbon emissions and reduce our impact on the planet, and at this time of year know it can be a struggle for many. As we reflect on our own commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, we invite you to join us in making a series of small mindful choices this holiday season. As we appreciate each diverse cultural and religious traditions has different ways of celebrating during this time, we've compiles a few that we know effect our carbon footprint and may help if you share similar holiday experiences.

Impulse Buying and Unwanted Gifts: Purchasing gifts on impulse or giving items that the recipients don't truly need or want can lead to unnecessary waste (are you really going to use another candle? Are they?) Thoughtful gift-giving, such as experiences or consumables, can be more meaningful and reduce the likelihood of unwanted items ending up in landfills. But how can you make sure your gifts are received with the highest impact? We recommend adding a handwritten note on recycled paper; when you add a personal touch sharing why you've chosen something, such as it being your favourite chocolate or favourite candle, that item now becomes more connected with your personality and may mean more to the individual receiving it, therefore have a higher chance of being used rather than wasted. To go one step further, you could write a short paragraph or two about the last time you enjoyed that kind of gift ('this chocolate goes great with gingerbread! And don't worry, it breaks apart easily so you can share with the little ones while also getting to keep a guiltless chunk for yourself!')

Excessive Gift Wrapping: The elaborate use of wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows can be quite wasteful, especially when these materials are often discarded after the gifts are unwrapped. Consider using reusable alternatives like fabric gift bags or opting for recyclable wrapping materials, and pay extra mind to where you get your gifts from and what packaging they originally come in. Yes, overnight delivery is great... but do we really need multiple cardboard boxes being delivered to your doorstep everyday? Check if your home delivery can be consolidated into one box to prevent waste, and save you time breaking down boxes later.

Single-Use Decorations: Decorative items that are designed for one-time use contribute to significant waste, even if they do look beautiful and smell fantastic this time of the year. Instead of buying disposable decorations, flowers, etc, consider investing in durable, reusable decor that can be enjoyed for many holiday seasons. They can be easier to navigate during your decorating process while representing both a higher return on investment and less waste in the long run.

Excessive Food Waste: The abundance of meals over this period often leads to over-purchasing and, consequently, food waste. Planning meals thoughtfully, freezing leftovers, and donating excess food to local charities can help reduce the environmental footprint of holiday feasts. Do you have more than you need this holiday season? Use this link to find a local food bank in your area to donate your extras.

Excessive Decorative Lights and Electronics: The extravagant use of lights and electronic decorations can contribute to energy waste and environmental impact. Consider using energy-efficient LED lights and limiting the duration of their use to save energy. Additionally, opting for fewer electronic decorations can help reduce the overall environmental footprint of holiday celebrations. 

By approaching the holiday season with care and making sustainable choices, we can give ourselves the best chance of feeling balanced during this period. Wishing you a joyful and mindful holiday season!

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