Christmas Parties

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By Rox Peña

E-ssue

Thursday, December 12, 2013


CHRISTMAS parties here and there! Being involved with so many organizations and being an elected public official, I get invitations (and solicitations) from all over. That’s in addition to the office parties which I must attend and the family reunions where I should be also present. These gatherings are what sometimes make the Christmas season so stressful (and costly).

Because of parties and other activities during the Christmas season, there’s more trash, more wastage and more energy usage. In the United States for instance, Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday. That’s an extra 25 million tons of garbage. On Christmas cards alone, 2.65 billion are sold each year in the US. (http://bgm.stanford.edu/pssi_faq_holiday_waste).

So how do we enjoy Christmas parties without trashing the environment? Here are a few tips from http://roadahead.com.au/lifestyle/eco/host-an-eco-friendly-christmas-party/.

Plastic plates, disposable party decorations, excess food packaging and greenhouse emissions from the use of extra electrical appliances all have an impact on the environment. By making a few simple adjustments to the traditional Christmas party, you can host an eco-friendly event.

* Ask guests not to buy new clothes for the party, but to wear simple clothes.

* Use recycled paper invitations or send out an electronic invite.

* Place clearly marked recycling and non-recycling bins out for your guests.

* Avoid using disposable plates, glasses and utensils. If you can’t avoid it, try to buy biodegradable paper plates.

* If possible, host your party at midday or late afternoon to make the most of natural light.

* Making your own juices or drinks from scratch is easy and reduces the amount of plastic bottles used at the party.

* Use things from around the home or office as party decorations. Old Christmas decorations can also be used.

* Plan the amount of food to be prepared to avoid wastage. If possible, prepare organic food and other healthy alternatives.

* Compost kitchen waste and food waste.

Most importantly, reflect on the meaning of Christmas. Amidst the exchange gifts, parlor games and raffle during parties, do not forget the true meaning of the holidays. Don't forget the birthday celebrant, Jesus, who is the real reason for our merry making.

Advance Merry Christmas everyone!

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on December 13, 2013.

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