Sherra Aguirre

Author of Roots: Living a Healthy, Joyful, Vegan Life

Is Less Truly More?...

I woke up this morning and took out the trash and recycling.  Both bins in the garage were overflowing with a few bags surrounding them on the garage floor.  No matter how we try to cut back, the holidays still come with loads of boxes, wrapping paper, food containers and more stuff.  As great as it is to share food, fun and gift giving with family and friends, is all of the material excess really necessary?  It’s the people who surround us, the good will, and the memories that really matter, right?  

Here are some tips for focusing on what's important, while showing some love to Mother Earth, and still having a great time.  

  • Draw names ahead of time so that each member of the group buys one gift not many.  And part of the fun is guessing who's your secret "Santa"!  
  • Recycle and reuse boxes, wrap and bows.
  • Send e-cards or holiday text messages instead of paper cards.
  • Where restaurants or caterers allow, bring your own pans, or containers for transporting large holiday meal items home.
  • Skip the plastic ware and use real forks, knives and spoons; use your own cloth napkins – makes the meal more special.
  • If you must use paper or plastic plates, cups, etc. make sure they are recyclable.
  • Donate or re-gift gently used toys or holiday items instead of trashing them, so someone else can enjoy.

The point is that we can still maintain tradition, but updated to reflect the urgent need to take better care of our environment, which ultimately takes care of all of us.  Who knows? As a result maybe one day we will all truly understand and celebrate what is most important, and before it’s too late.