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We would like to see a world where we take more care of our environment. Where we tread a little lighter on our earth. Our Christmas wish would be for all of us to be more conscious when we take out that credit card or hand over cash. To take more care of what we purchase and consume, how we manage our waste and how we attend to our land, whether we own it or not.

I worry about our planet and what we are doing to her. I worry about my grandchildren’s ability to source wholesome, healthy food. I worry about the flippant way we turf our rubbish into the bin and turn a blind eye to the growing landfill mountains, the choking plastics, and chemical soaked containers that seep into the soil and poison our groundwater. And worse, the amount of food we throw away that clogs up 30% of those landfills, rotting away and inviting vermin and disease.

As human beings our environmental impact is severe. Our consumer driven behaviour is eating us alive. Not only because we cannot keep consuming and not replenishing, but because the resultant waste is suffocating our earth, air and oceans.

No more out of sight and out of mind

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday, Christmas. Four weeks of consumer mayhem are upon us. We are well and truly buried in a buying frenzy. With each purchase comes packaging, wrapping, tags, boxes and slips.

5th Place is not only about attending to and regulating emotions although it is fundamental to everything we do.

Our mission is to make the world a better place and that includes the planet as a whole. We know too, that the environmental issues can feel really overwhelming to the point that it’s easier to shove it all into the bin and close the lid, hiding the problem away. Out of sight out of mind and all that.

Every tiny step makes a difference

The 5th Place principle It starts with me says if we want to make a difference it starts with each and everyone of us. Every tiny little step can make a difference. We would like to challenge you to do one thing differently this festive season. Only one.

Here is a list of suggestions, choose only one. It will make a difference.

  • When you purchase gifts try to do it consciously and carefully. Money is tight for many this season but you may still feel guilty and driven to buy even if you can’t really afford it. Are you buying for the sake of buying? Do you feel pressured into getting more than is needed? Is it about quantity rather than quality? And by quality we mean filled with love and care.
  • Reuse, recycle and upcycle gifts. Feel cheap? Not for the planet.
  • Buy second hand and vintage. Feel cheap? See above.
  • Make your own gifts and gift tags. Don’t have the time or energy? It’s okay we didn’t say you had to do everything. Choose something else.
  • Make your own Christmas crackers with useful, environmentally friendly gifts inside. Don’t have the time or energy? Ditto above or just don’t buy them. Do something different like hide a tiny gift or chocolate inside the napkin of your table setting. You could, if you have the time and energy, write a small note explaining why there are no crackers this year.
  • That shiny wrapping paper can’t be recycled, wrap your gifts in brown paper and twine instead of purchased Christmas wrapping paper and ribbon.
  • If all else fails, collect 2l plastic cooldrink bottles and make EcoBricks with all the cling film, unrecyclable wrapping paper and plastic. Here's more info on how to make EcoBricks and where to drop EcoBricks off when they are made.

See anything that appeals to you? Or maybe you have some other creative ideas. Please share them with us and we will post them on our Facebook and other social media pages.

From us at 5th Place may you have a safe and healthy holiday season. Love large, live small. Have lightr feet*.

*Lightr Feet is 5th Place’s latest contribution on how to make the world a better place.

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