HO! HO! HO! SLOW IS THE WAY TO GO! November 18, 2015 07:03


Have you heard of the slow food movement? Started in the 80s it promotes the value of traditional recipes, using sustainable produce and buying from local producers instead of choosing fast food and pre-packaged TV dinners. The holidays are those rare calendar dates where we all strive to take a ‘slow’ approach to food as a way to show our love for the people around our table, which is great. But this year, we say it’s time to take the slow out of the kitchen and under the tree, people!

Why is this important? Well, because the holiday season is such a time of excess we’re creating an environmental problem that’s going to be one nasty gift we can’t return. We all know the lure of Black Friday bargains which get us onto the street and buying everything within reach. The experience leaves many of us with a retail hangover that lasts until Spring but did you know it also creates 50 times more greenhouse gases than the online shopping equivalent, Cyber Monday ?

Last year, the average cost of Christmas for each household was over $1200 and most of that (about 60%) we spent on gifts . But what about the cost to the planet? In the US alone, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, our household waste increases by 25% creating 1 million tons EXTRA landfill a week! These figures are super scary. So let’s make a Christmas wish to take the excess out of Xmas! With the help of our Buy Less, Buy Right Golden Holiday Rule let’s all try to be on Santa’s nice list this year.

1. Buy Less
A recent survey found 70% of Americans would welcome less emphasis on gift giving and spending.
If the US alone sent one less card each year that’d be a saving of 50,000 cubic metres of paper! So think before you lick that envelope! Or make your own by recycling old cards or get online and send an e-card instead.
Quick, thoughtless purchases often lead to making more purchases than you really need. So use our buy right checklist below when you shop for your friends and family this year.

2. Buy right
Think about what you’re buying. Ask yourself these simple questions:

• Will it last? (Nobody want to receive something that’ll be just pretty landfill before the next holidays roll around.)
• Is it a timeless design? (Fashion comes and goes but style is timeless. Wise words when trying to decide on that special something.)
• Is it well made by people treated fairly and with sustainable resources? (This is SO important. What is the meaning of Christmas if the presents under the tree were made at the expense of someone else’s health or happiness? Or made in a way that damages our community now and for the future?)
• Can I buy it online? (Can you reduce your mileage and save an unnecessary trip to the store?)

Interested in finding out more?
Visit newdream.org. This is an interesting organization trying to promote an alternative, less commercial, Christmas for our families.

Greenbusinesswatch.org The Environmental Impact of Black Friday
Centre for Retail Research – Shopping for Christmas 2014