Gifts, concerts, traveling, time with family and friends, a break from work/school and mouth watering delicacies are usually what people look forward to at Christmas.
One activity people can’t seem to avoid this period is shopping. Whether it’s for new clothes or gifts for loved ones, Christmas shopping can be both thrilling and overwhelming at the same time, not only for us, but for the environment as well.
Ini line with its commitment to spearheading climate protection across the globe, Sahara Group is using this exciting period to encourage everyone to shop smarter and cleaner, not only during this season, but to make it a lifestyle.
Before making any buying decisions, ask these two important questions:
1. Is it necessary?
Temptations abound during the holiday season and they come in all forms, from alluring adverts to eye-popping shopping deals. If you don’t slow down to ask yourself if you really need an item before purchasing, you could end up hurting your wallet and the environment.
To avoid this, take stock of what you already have and more importantly what you haven’t used in the last year especially with things like clothes, shoes and toys for example. It is best to plan to give out items that can be re-used and make a mental note of the things you don’t need to avoid unnecessary consumption and expenditure.
Next, have a holiday spending action plan/budget consisting of the following steps:
i. Decide on how much you can safely spend in total.
ii. Make a list of the different items you intend to purchase and put them into categories like groceries, clothing, gifts for family and friends, etc. Make sure your list is prioritized.
iii. Decide on how much you intend to spend on each category based on your total budget.
iv. Divide the amount in (iii) by the total number of items for each category.
v. Accept this amount as the maximum you can spend on each item.
Now, take this plan with you wherever you go to help you stay on track of your holiday spending. There are lots of free spending apps that can be downloaded to help you stay on top of your expenditure on the go. Try as much as possible to stay within your budget and you’ll find yourself making smarter and easier shopping decisions.
2. Is it kind to the environment?
Christmas is a season of excesses – excess buying, eating, decorating, and even partying. Just as everything else is in excess during the holiday season, so is waste. From the excessive plastic shopping bags associated with increased shopping during this period, the duplicitous gifts, to the copious gift packaging and wraps, the environment surely feels the impact of the season. While these activities can’t completely be avoided, we can make them more sustainable by reducing plastic waste.
Jute bags are an excellent alternative to plastic bags. Unlike plastic, jute is biodegradable and does not pollute the environment. It is firm and durable, and can be washed and reused as many times as possible.
The Green-Life Initiative, which was launched by Sahara Group with one of its objectives being to promote sustainable living and reduce the harmful impact of human activities on the environment and to help combat climate change, has introduced recyclable jute bags as one of its ‘weapons’ in this fight as a means to educate and raise awareness on the simple “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle” mantra.
By simply switching from plastic to recyclable jute bags when shopping this season, you are creating a cleaner, more sustainable environment by reducing the Green House Gases (GHG) emissions and contributing your quota towards combating climate change.
Christmas is a season of giving, so now is the perfect time to give back to the earth by reducing plastic waste by taking on biodegradable alternatives like jute bags.
It is very possible to have a memorable Christmas without breaking the bank and depleting the environment. Follow the tips above and let it be your special little gift to yourself and our planet!
Have a joyous Green Christmas!