At ZooFit, we connect people to the earth in healthy, positive ways. And that goes doubly for the holidays.
Don’t get me wrong, I know we all have a quadrillion things on our minds during the holidays, and unfortunately, the planet isn’t typically one of those things. But here’s something to consider- without a planet, there IS no holiday season. There would be no celebration, no gift-giving, no holiday treats, nothing.
So, putting that in perspective, it’s important to make this season as sustainable and earth-friendly as possible. And ZooFit is here to help make your Christmas a little greener, and a little brighter for all creatures, all around the world.
- Tis the season for giving, and why not save two birds with one click! A fantastic way to honor your loved ones AND make it a sustainable holiday is to donate to a conservation organization in your loved ones name. Does your spouse love sloths? Donate to the Rainforest Alliance, or the Sloth Conservation Foundation. If your sweetheart loves to surf or kayak, consider donating to the Ocean Conservancy or Oceana. There are organizations for everyone on your list. Nature Conservancy, National Parks Foundation, the UK’s Friends of the Earth, and dozens of other organizations look to public support to carry their message of hope for the planet. Many famous conservationists have charities which support conservation or preservation of the planet- From Lawrence Anthony, the renowned Elephant Whisperer with his legacy Earth Organization, to Jane Goodall Institute and her youth initiative, Roots and Shoots. There is something for every age to support. You can even go local, donating to your local Humane Society (not the HSUS, which is not associated with your local Humane Society), or your local zoo, aquarium, or nature center.The best part about this generous gift-giving idea is donations can be done online, which means you don’t just support worthy conservation efforts, but you reduce your impact on the planet by making it Zero-Waste.
- For many of us, the holidays are about eating all the things, no matter if they are good for us or good for the planet. Take some of the tips from the Healthy section and apply it here. Rather than buy the fruitcakes loaded with sugar and orangutan tears (palm oil), make your holiday foods yourself. When you make your own foods, you appreciate them more, they often taste WAY better, and by controlling what ingredients you use, you can have a powerful impact on the environment, animal welfare, your community, and even social and economic issues. Try to keep your ingredients local, seasonal, and sustainable.
- I love gift wrapping, but you know what I hate? The millions of trees the United States cuts down each year just for Christmas wrapping paper. Let’s nip this tradition in the bud. Want to wrap something? Use reusable items. Or parts of the gift as the wrapping. T-shirts can be used to wrap a toy, or book. Or (my mom will appreciate this) use a nice dish towel to wrap someone’s gift.
Of course, if you are in my family, you re-use wrapping paper for decades. I wish I was kidding, but my mom has saved wrapping paper from when I was EIGHT YEARS OLD. If you do use wrapping paper, save as much of it as possible and reuse it year after year.
- While gift cards are an easy go-to solution for giving gifts to family members or co-workers, reconsider this gesture for its environmental impact. Gift cards are rarely reused or recycled. They are a single use plastic which ends up in landfills or worse, in the ocean. So, even when the gift our gesture bought is long gone, these plastic reminders of a season long ago will never go away.
What are some better alternatives? If you are unsure what to give someone, give cash, or ask your local vendor if they do gift certificates. It is more easily recycled than gift cards. If you want to add a little fun to your gift, give a lottery ticket. While it may not be recycled, at the very least, it will not have a lasting impression on the environment.
- If you are hosting a party this year, try to make it as GREEN as possible. Use real silverware and plates versus single use. If you absolutely can’t manage that, at the very least look into compostable utensils and tableware. Yes, they are more expensive than plastic, but they are a lot healthier for the planet.
What impact will you give on the planet this holiday season? Make it a positive change, and make your holidays merry and bright for all creatures, all around the world.
Happy, HOPEFUL Holidays from ZooFit!