The Environmentalist Guide to Thanksgiving & Black Friday

 What is mindful consumption/ conscious consumerism?

"Mindful consumption is application of mindfulness to inform the choices consumers make in the world. The application of mindfulness through mindful consumption is one approach advocated to change society, the marketplace, and individual well-being. "

Milne GR, Villarroel Ordenes F, Kaplan B. Mindful Consumption: Three Consumer Segment Views. Australasian Marketing Journal. 2020;28(1):3-10. doi:10.1016/j.ausmj.2019.09.003

How does mindfulness compliment consumption?

  • help to change consumer habits by breaking down the impact of choices
  • provide a signal to the market about consumer preferences for products that reflect personal values
  • help champion policy focused on regulating the environmental impact of production

How can I measure the impact of my consumption?

  • If you're not sure where to start, consider calculating your impact to get a baseline and identify areas for improvement
  • Determine what areas you want to focus on and set a 30-day goal to make one small change

Stick to reusable dishes and utensils

Although paper and plastic utensils and plates are tempting due to the little clean-up involved, using reusable makes a big difference. Still not sold? Ask your guests to BYOP (bring your own plate)!

Buy local, when you can

Locally produced food items are more sustainable and support your community's economy!

Eat less meat

The meat industry is the number one source of methane gas, which is a major contributor to climate change. Another major environmental impact of a meat-eating diet is the depletion of natural resources. Even if you’re not vegetarian, try adding a little less meat to your plate and filling the rest of the plate with healthy sides, such as squash, green beans, or kale.

Save energy

Glass and ceramic dishes retain heat better than metal. Plus, they allow you to turn your oven down about 25 degrees.

Get involved in your community

Volunteering at an environmental organization in your community can make a huge difference, especially because there is so much waste produced during the holidays

Mindful gift-giving

Gift ideas

  • Give services or experiences
    • concert tickets, art class, massage, skydiving, workout class
    • Plan a fun weekend for your loved one, quality time is an amazing gift!!
  • Buy gifts that are thrifted, second-hand, or antiques
  • Make a gift!
    • Nothing says you value someone like homemade gifts! Here are a few fun crafts to make for the holidays
      • Check out a few fun homemade gifts here.

Go virtual!

give someone a virtual gift card or subscription!

  • find your loved one’s favorite coffee shop or grocery store (those will always be used!)

Give someone a subscription to Master Class, a language platform, or donate in someone one's name!

For the person that doesn't want anything

Donate to charity or organization in their name. Check out a few organizations here.

  • Environmental organizations to donate to here.
  • Get them an e-gift card to their fav grocery store

Ideas for celebrations

The oldest and most fun trick in the book, Secret Santa! It allows you to spend less and really focus on the person you buy the gift for. It can be so much more meaningful and cost-effective!

Minimize packaging and waste

use cloths, rags, bandanas, scarfs etc., that people can reuse everyday. Here are a few reusable wrapping ideas.

Save your paper bags to wrap gifts in and decorate them for your loved ones. Those Trader Joe's bags you have piled in your house are perfect!

This list of sustainable packaging is amazing!

Use nature as decorations

The holidays are a perfect time to get a little creative and crafty! Nature makes beautiful decorations or go old school and craft them yourself using household items!

Buy local

Online shopping is so easy, but if you can try to support local businesses when you can. It decreases the carbon footprint of the item, and helps support businesses in your community!

Walk, bike, or use public transport to the store to eliminate that carbon footprint;)

This is not said enough, but you, the individual, is not the problem, and climate change is not your fault. In order to facilitate change, we need corporations, government and community members to shift the system. We cannot emphasize this enough, but do not put the burden of climate change on your shoulders. We get it, eco-anxiety is real. We made this guide to help make small changes in your life, but we made this with the shift that needs to be made on a larger scale: corporate accountability and government action.

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