TUCSON, Ariz.– This holiday season, the Center for Biological Diversity is encouraging Americans to simplify the holidays with the launch of a new website that focuses on building traditions that have more meaning and require less stuff.
Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, American households generate 25% more waste than usual. All the fossil fuels, trees and other materials that go into producing gifts and wrapping paper make the winter holidays a tough time for wildlife and the habitat they need to survive.
“The holidays put enormous stress on the planet,” said Kelley Dennings, population and sustainability campaigner at the Center. “Our new Simplify the Holidays website provides useful tools and tips for redefining holiday traditions in ways that spread cheer by focusing more on meaning and less on stuff.”
The website helps gift-givers think outside the (big) box with wildlife-friendly gifts and traditions that encourage creativity, increase connection, ease stress, save money, reduce waste and help the environment.
“This season has become dominated by excess and waste, but when we simplify the holidays, we have the time and energy to focus on the things that matter most while minimizing our impact on the planet,” said Dennings. “When you do shop, it’s important to shop local, particularly at businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and other people of color. The pandemic has shown us that supporting our local economies helps build community resilience.”
People looking to simplify the holidays can also use the SoKind Alternative Gift Registry to create wish lists for gifts they actually want. More than 60% of Americans say they receive at least one gift they don’t want during the holidays, adding up to more than $15 billion wasted. The SoKind Registry can also be used to register for homemade gifts, charitable donations, experiences, time and more.
The Simplify the Holidays campaign and SoKind Alternative Gift Registry were previously managed by New Dream.
Center staff are available to host virtual workshops for interested organizations on easy ways to simplify the holiday season.