Celebrating a Green Christmas.
Its Christmas time again and the spirit of the season has transformed our state into a hub of joy, love and of course festivities that are unlike any other festive season. It is also a time when one can consider a bit about our immediate environs and begin with our homes itself- as it is a season of good tidings and new beginnings. I take the liberty of jotting ten simple points that can make this Chirstmas special for you as well the environment.
1. Plant a small tree together as a family as symbolizes the value of nature and giving back to our environment. Better still spend an hour cleaning up a natural area and recognize nature as the source of our well being.
2. Go natural and healthy this Christmas. Switch over to organic foods that are now available at many green stores and select super markets. Grow your own vegetable patch in your backyard and yes, do begin composting your biodegradable waste. Celebrate this Christmas by supporting local traditional sweet makers too and live up the Goan Christmas spirit.
3. Buy a live Christmas tree this season. Plastic trees are made of petroleum products (PVC), and use up resources in both the manufacture and shipping. If you buy a small tree in a large pot, you may be able to reuse the tree for 2- 3 years without having to plant or re-pot the tree.
4. Christmas cards purchased from commercial stores are rich, elegant and expensive. They also consume a huge amount of natural resources for time bound item. Try to make home made cards They may not be as professional, but they are more personal and are appreciated more by one and all. Making the cards is also a fun activity for the family.
5. Car pool if possible while visiting friends and family. The earth’s natural resources are dwindling at a fast rate and petroleum products are one of them. Car-pooling also helps reduce traffic congestion and lessens the impact on the environment too.
6. Do reduce the size of outdoor lighting displays wherever possible. A smaller presentation of lights can still be attractive, and more appropriate in the 'season of giving'. Use LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights for house and Christmas tree lighting as they use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors.
7. Promote and patronize locally made gifts. The impact of transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions and global warming. If possible choose eco friendly and traditional gifts over plastic and other non-bio degradable ones. Avoid children’s toys that use batteries, as these are not recyclable and are toxic to the earth when disposed off.
8. Take care not to create noise pollution due to loud speakers. This practice not only creates noise pollution but also has a severe impact on the local wildlife including birds and small mammals. Instead promote local talent. Sing together and maintain sound levels as prescribed by the law.
9. Please refuse to accept plastic bags from shops and malls, as alternatives are now available. Better still carry your own cloth shopping bags. Understand the need to curb the menace of plastic and reduce, recycle and reuse all non-biodegradable resources.
10. And last but not the least, beginning this Christmas do resolve to act together on issues that concern our state and its environment. Together we all can keep Goa as a safe and environment friendly destination.
And while these are some thoughts that I have jotted down, do go out and accomplish more green doings this festive season. Wishing you all a merry Chirstmas and a Happy New Year 2013.Keep the faith.
By: - Nirmal U Kulkarni