Saturday, January 4, 2014

Holiday Waste; cultural shift and re-gifting

Apart from extracting too much, the major thing troubling our oceans is what we are putting into it - waste!

Holidays can be exciting and wonderful times to show you care for family and friends but what happens to the waste? Packaging, plastics and paper can be overwhelming, requiring skill and good recycling management. However this is not the only excess we need to consider.

Is there anyone anywhere who can boast that they've never received a gift that just doesn't fit into their lives. Unwanted gifts, what do you do with them? Throw them out? Perhaps you put the gift on a shelf to collect dust or stash it in a drawer only to throw out months or years later? If the gift is really the generosity of the thought rather than the object then why not keep the continuity of that concept going? 

It is time for a cultural shift. Rather than storing up unwanted gifts whose ultimate destination is an over-stressed tip we can all embrace the re-gift. You might not have been the right one for the gift but maybe someone else is. Who might that gift be a better fit for than you, could it be creatively modified to suit or perhaps even keep it in reserve as the perfect prank gift. It is worth considering keeping the gift giver's name and the packaging intact to avoid mistakes.

Wind and water carry holiday wastes to the sea
In our lives we are all trying to consider how to keep the waste in time, materials and money under control. If we are looking after the world, mitigating the flow of our waste into the oceans means mitigating the waste in our lives and doing some things differently. It is, after all, the thought that counts.

Here are a few links for more ideas:

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