No Straw November

While environmental activism is not a new concept, especially among young college-age students, recently there has been a drastic increase in the movement toward protecting our oceans and the resources within them. One of the ways this movement has manifested in young people is with the call to stop using plastic, disposable straws, culminating in an event called No Straw November. Participation can occur in many ways: asking restaurant servers and fast food places to not give you a straw, going into coffee shops with your own refillable travel mug or even investing in a reusable straw that you keep on you at all times.

 

Though it seems like a small gesture, committing to no longer using plastic straws can not only help keep some of this garbage out of our oceans, but it can make you more conscious of just how much one-use plastic material you are guilty of using. Hopefully, the traction of this movement will not end with the month of November, but here are some additional ways you and your family can have a more environmentally-conscious holiday season.

 

Don’t waste money on shiny, new wrapping paper. Rather than buying rolls and rolls of thick, plastic-coated wrapping paper, try making your own out of old paper bags, reuse old wrapping paper or consider going without.

 

Recycle your Christmas tree. If your family loves to have a fresh Christmas tree each year, look for a local tree recycling program when it’s finally time to throw it out. The recycled trees are often turned into mulch or wood chips and can be used to help your surrounding community.

 

Try a new kind of gift this year. While we live in a culture rich with materialistic attitudes, this Christmas try something new with a donation or experiential gift instead. This could include volunteering at a city clean-up project or environmental center in lieu of presents or opting for a fun activity rather than a tangible present. These will definitely create more memories and less waste this season.

 

I hope this gives you just a few ideas of how you can celebrate this year while still being considerate to the environment around you. Happy Holidays!