Sustainability is the new buzz word these days and there are many ways to define this term. In most definitions, environmental awareness is one component that is used to describe the word. At its basic level, sustainability refers to the long-term health of the planet, which is dependent on the conscious efforts of every human being. We humans have an important duty to protect, care for, and conserve the world around us. It is truly everyone’s responsibility. With that in mind, please make an effort this holiday season to be the change you wish to see in the world. We are all tasked with doing the right thing not only for ourselves, but also our neighbors, the community, the world at large, and the environment! This holiday season, be a Sustainability Superhero:
Make sure to give your unwanted decorations to a thrift store. In the same regard, shop thrift stores before purchasing new items. If there is opportunity, give to local charities, family or friends in need, local food pantries/shelters, or schools and after school programming. The donation does not need to be monetary, but volunteering and providing food or supplies is very helpful to many local community organizations.
Pause Before Purchasing
Consider first, does the person want/need this gift? Will the item last more than one season? Can this item be reused or donated? Will this item be used more than once? If the answer is no to some of these questions, then you may want to rethink your selection.
Purchase items that can be used every day like reusable water bottles, reusable shopping bags, reusable food containers, etc. The gift of a living plant, tree, bulbs, or flowers can grow and flourish for years to come. If you purchase a live Christmas tree, make sure you recycle the tree at the end of the season. Trees are accepted at the Beaver Borough Yard Waste Drop Off area or the Beaver County Recycling Center for free.
Gift cards, tickets, classes, or memberships to favorite places can be great choices. Having the opportunity to take in cultural or sporting events can be learning activities. Sharing the experience with your family and friends can create memories to last a lifetime. Also, giving “consumable gifts”—especially favorite, but unique food items—can help minimize accumulated, unused “stuff” around the house.
Wrapping paper is recyclable as long as there is not glitter, metallic items, or a large amount of tape or plastic on it. Some giftwrap is mostly plastic-based and not easily recycled; therefore, it should not be placed in with paper recycling. We suggest you give it the “crunch test” and if it readily springs back to a flattened shape, then it is most likely plastic, not paper. Reuse bows and ribbons whenever possible. Be creative: newspaper, reusable gift bags, butcher block paper, etc. can be used as alternatives to wrapping paper.
Everyone working together to do their part equals a win in the long-term survival of our most valuable resources. Small changes in habit will yield huge results!