As much as it is the season of abundance, there sure is a lot of waste at Christmas. Discarded packaging from gifts, rolls of wrapping paper that'll go in the bin after unwrapping presents, the log cakes that are for aesthetic purposes and all that plastic – it's time to sober up and curb the wastage.
We explore some ways to keep Christmas more meaningful, personalised and little more green this year. Whether it is making conscience dining choices for the Christmas meal or stopping yourself from buying a dozen rolls of wrapping paper, here's our idea of a sustainable Christmas in the city.
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In terms of sustainable dining, we're lucky to have a lot of restaurants that are investing in dining with a conscience. There are restaurants that practice farm-to-table like The Open Farm Community and those that work in partnership with organisations to bring in sustainable seafood like mezza9 – you have plenty of options.
And if you're thinking of handling it all on your own, consider local produce, preferably organic. Reduce food miles by shopping at farmer's markets, community gardens or even from your personal herb garden. Plus, it would be nice to get friends and family involved when cooking up a feast in the kitchen.
Christmas is about presents and pampering, but it doesn't have to all be about going over the top all the time. There are many ways to go about in keeping it sustainable and eco-friendly when buying gifts for our loved ones. After all, Christmas is about the joy of spontaneous giving and being thoughtful with our gift-giving.
Shopping and sourcing gifts from eco-friendly shops is a good start. Lifestyle stores like The Social Space and The Green Collective stocks up on reusable cutlery and containers while fashion labels like Matter and Source Collections subscribe to eco-friendly practices and make stylish garb suitable for Singapore climates.
We don't blame anyone for getting carried away when it comes to Christmas decor. The more tinsel and bauble, the more Christmas vibes. This year, get a little DIY and get inspired from any leftover craft materials like fabric and scrap paper you have. Hit the craft stores around town, it's definitely going to cost you less than buying fancy wrapping paper elsewhere. Sure it is going to take a little more effort, but at least it's going to be unique.
There's so much wastage during Christmas – all that wrapping paper, disposal cups and plates from all the parties, packaging from the gifts – as much as it is a season of abundance, it is also a season of waste. Stick to using reusable cutlery, cups, straws and plates at parties (make the guests hold on to the same set) and dinners and swap fancy gift wrap to reusable material like cloth wraps or your make your own wrapping paper from any scrap paper you might have.
You don't have to stress out about gift buying – keep it simple and also personalised with food. Bonus points if you're actually good in the kitchen. Whether it's cookies, biscuits or cakes, all you have to do is present and package it nicely and watch the compliments come in on your homemade efforts. Besides, we'd pick cookies over a pair over any dowdy gift anytime. And when the food is finished – zero wastage!
Who says everything has to be shiny and new for Christmas? Pre-loved items can also hold as much meaning as new ones. Singapore's vintage scene covers everything from furniture stores to designer labels. Take the time to browse through places like The Fashion Pulpit and A Vintage Tale for a killer pair of heels for your best friend or a cool jacket for your sister. Other places like Second Charm will be perfect for acquiring an old school coffee table for your mother.
The year is ending and on Christmas, you'll be getting some gifts – perhaps it is time to clear out some old things to make way for new stuff. Instead of disposing your items, check out some shelters and organisations where your secondhand things will go towards a good cause.