Start talking Boxing Day and most Americans will give you a quizzical look. The English, however, will start talking about all the sales. Boxing Day was originally all about giving employees and domestic helpers a day off and a little Christmas bonus in the form of cloth, grains, tools, money and even leftovers from the holiday feast the day before. Over the years, the holiday has lost its meaning and become much like Black Friday – all about shopping and consumption.
We like the idea of reclaiming the holiday with a green twist!
For most people, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is fairly quiet. The hustle and bustle of Christmas has passed and everyone is gearing up for a big celebration on New Year’s Eve. The presents are all unwrapped and have found new homes in the closets, cupboards and shelves. It’s the perfect time to do a little clearing out.
Take a quick look through your closets for clothes you no longer wear and linens you don’t use. Raid you kitchen for utensils, pans and small appliances that no longer suit your lifestyle. They’re all items that are just taking up space in your home. Box them up and take them to a thrift shop collection center. You’ll have more space at home, and you’re playing a part in a greener cycle of reuse and recycle.
Make it fun by inviting a few close friends over and making a party of it. Serve holiday leftovers (to keep the menu as green as possible!) and mix up some organic cocktails and make a day of it. If everyone lives close enough together, make it a progressive day and have breakfast at one house, lunch at another and dinner at a third, gathering items at each home then taking them all to the donation center.
Did you get an excess of boxed candies, cookies and other edibles that you simply won’t eat before they go bad? Make a few phone calls and find a senior center or homeless shelter in your area that will accept donations. Many of these get plenty of donations just prior to the holidays, but not much after. Donating your goodies will brighten their day, and is a far greener choice than letting that tin of cookies sit on the top shelf for months.
Or get creative, but whatever you decide to do, make it a day about getting rid of excess in your life, giving to others and contributing to a green cycle of reduce, reuse and recycle.