Christmas is supposed to be a time for loving, sharing and giving. However, often it is more a time of massive waste and retail overdrive, thanks to our rampant materialistic consumerism.
Luckily, many people are gradually waking up to the immense long-term and significant harm that our excesses in the name of short-term joy (and profits for businesses) cause every time we celebrate a festival. In the two articles linked below you can find some useful tips for making Christmas a more eco-friendly and meaningful, and less selfish and wasteful festival.
The great thing about both articles is that they contain helpful tips that can be applied in all manner of celebrations and festivals, including birthdays, Lunar New Year, Easter, and so on. The Guardian’s tips for charity donations and volunteering in particular, while specifically about the UK, are worth considering wherever you live, and at any time of the year.
Likewise, the tips to buy locally, eat little or no meat, and to not throw away leftovers, should be things that apply all year, but especially so at times of big feasts.
As for the New York Times’ tips on buying meaningful birthday presents, one of the most practical ideas they mention is to help children understand the superior value of experiences and memories from family activities, as opposed to the short-term pleasure from just buying more stuff that will inevitably become junk very shortly afterwards. Merry Green Christmas!