Small steps you can cock-a-doodle-do for a greener Chinese New Year

Ang pows, reunion dinners, multiple Mandarin oranges and delicious cookies and snacks synonymous to this season are beckoning… Yep, it’s that time of the year again! Are you ready to take on the mad rush that is Chinese New Year? Well, ready or not, don’t let the festive season allow you to chicken out of being green.

Here are some tips to egg you on on your efforts in being more eco-friendly in this Year of the Rooster.

#1: Bring in the plants!

Did you know that putting a nice plant in your home can put you on your way to having a healthy and prosperous year ahead of you? Well, besides being feng shui-approved, NASA also has a study that shows that certain house plants (like money plants, chrysanthemums and peace lilies) can filter out dangerous chemicals in the air.

So yes, besides being auspicious, these plants will also literally give your homes a breath of fresh air. The best part? You can keep them around all year round!

 

#2: It’s all about the money

Red packets are ubiquitous during Chinese New Year and in the weeks preceding the celebrations, people usually withdraw crisp new notes churned out for this very purpose as it is considered a sign of disrespect to give old or torn notes. But, cultural traditions and environment-saving need not be at odds with each other!

Go green by opting for new-looking money instead — you can save them up throughout the year and make a deal with your kids and family to swap out any new-looking notes they get for the old notes you have on hand.
#3: Waste not, want not

recycle_thumbsup

Source

A spring cleaning session may be in order in the week leading up to Chinese New Year, but going green means resisting every temptation to simply throw things out. There are many reasons why you should recycle — and a little mental preparation and organisation will go a long way in making it an easy task. Sort out items under major categories such as paper, plastic and aluminium cans for recycling.

Meanwhile, old clothes, textiles and furniture can either be channelled to places such as the Salvation Army, a local charity or even to your local H&M store in exchange for a discount voucher!

#4: Don’t blow things up

They may help you usher in Chinese New Year with a bang, but fireworks and firecrackers are produced using many toxic chemicals and heavy metals which contribute to air and water pollution. They are also typically illegal or banned in many places for safety reasons, so giving a wide berth to these explosives is certainly a good idea.

Also on the list of things to avoid are sky lanterns. While not technically illegal, sky lanterns are an obvious fire hazard and not biodegradable. Opt for lighting traditional (or even scented) candles, replacing your lampshades with festive lanterns or flying a kite during the day instead.
#5: Change up the menu!

vegan-dumplings-11-1200x800

Source

Food is definitely the way to people’s hearts, especially during Chinese New Year where feasting is usually the main agenda. Though certain lucky dishes are must-haves, do the environment a favour and avoid using shark fins or other endangered species in your cooking.

Also, while meat lovers might baulk at this idea, one option you can consider is to make more vegetarian or vegan dishes for your get-togethers. The simple step of going green by eating green can reduce the impact of climate change, rainforest destruction and pollution, all while saving water and other precious resources.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s