Metal straws and other eco-friendly gifts
Let’s not forget that beyond reuse, two other important principles of zero waste are to refuse and to reduce. Instead of showering people with metal straws, why not avoid straws altogether?
In my mind, straws are only allowed in bubble tea or milkshakes. If medically you need a straw, then go for it.
So if we refuse to buy unnecessary things, what should we give for Christmas?
Maybe we could donate our time instead of an item. In this attention economy, time is far more valuable than money anyway.
For busy bees, carving out an evening for dinner can be even more difficult than buying tissue pouches en masse at the mall. Your friends will appreciate you all the more for making the first one.
And if a meal seems too basic, how about an experiment? Performing arts groups organize many shows, Christmas related or not, during the December holidays. Plus, you’re supporting the local art scene, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.
These suggestions may smack of bourgeois post-materialism, but if we’re serious about conscious consumerism, the circular economy, and whatever else is invoked in sustainability forums, this is the easiest way to go. .
This Christmas, give those metal straws a pass and, instead, catch up with your loved one over a meal. If you do takeout, bonus points if you BYO.
Erin Low is Research Writer for the Commentary section. She also works on the CNA podcasts Heart of the Matter and The Climate Conversations.