Festivals have always been an important part of our culture.They are celebrated for cultural, social, and economic reasons.Earlier in history, festivals would often coincide with the change of seasons.Unique traditions and rituals were observed with special significance. These represented the beginning or end of harvest seasons, special days such as birthdays, victories, accomplishments, expressing gratitude, and so on.These celebrations facilitated the development of stronger relationships, communities, and societies, in addition to providing entertainment. They fostered bonding and the value of sharing.These events aided in the preservation of local culture, art, and music, as well as the development of talents and skills. These were the times when the economy flourished as people spent to make new purchases.
Festivals are usually accompanied by a lot of preparations, such as festive cleaning, decorating, purchasing new accessories, clothes, and gifts, and so on. These activities are done more impulsively and in excess in modern times, resulting in a lot of waste that harms the environment. Also, with the changing times, the list of festivals and the enormity of celebrations growing.The purpose of the festival is being obscured by the manner in which it is celebrated.
In this blog, we tackle a topic that is very close to its mission: Conscious Festive Buying.
Every action has an impact; choose wisely the impact you want to have.Mindy Hall
What is Conscious Buying?
Let us begin with self-reflection.
Have I ever purchased a product that I haven’t used in over a year?
Have I purchased the item that I truly required?
Have I thoroughly planned my purchases?
Have I given my relatives and friends the items they wanted/ suggested?
By asking these simple questions, we are able to make every purchase with a purpose. Purpose is not our necessity; it is our responsibility to make optimal use of the products we buy with considerable good planning in order to minimize or avoid unnecessary waste.
Consumption is important because it leads to a thriving economy. However, if the product is ineffectively used or wasted, the economy suffers greatly due to waste management and its associated negative impacts. Purchasing or buying falls short of its goal for a variety of reasons, including a lack of time, a lack of awareness of reliable resources, impulsiveness, and a desire for reasonably priced goods.That is why thoughtful purchasing begins with proper planning. Good planning allows us to save time, find a good source for a purchase, and be clear about what we need so that we don’t fall for discounts and offers and get the true value for our money.
How to plan for a Purposeful Festive Buying?
It is a normal pattern that we tend to buy more during holiday seasons. Hence it becomes extremely critical to consider the usage during and post celebrations. It has been often noticed that post celebrations, the products occupy a corner in the store room or back of the wardrobe shelves or dumped in the waste bins. Because festivals are celebrated by masses, the wastage happens in abundance.
Let’s take a look at some basic yet significant ways to make your holiday shopping more meaningful. We are now ready to look into specific areas once we have completed the Christmas cleaning and de-cluttering.
Festive decor is essential because it is the first thing that sets the perfect mood. The colors and flowers add a distinct touch to the festival atmosphere while also representing seasonality and cultural heritage. Lights and other furniture add to the atmosphere. While it is important, be responsible by recycling what you have.
If you must make a new purchase, choose something local, reusable, created from recycled materials, and that can be discarded safely (real flowers etc).
2. Clothes and Accessories
Certain events also involve specific colors and dress. For example, Christmas, Halloween, Diwali, Dussehra, and so on. Plan ahead of time before making a purchase. If possible, be creative and reuse what you have or donate some from your closet to less fortunate people before purchasing new ones.
Giving will not only make someone happy, but will also contribute responsibly to sustainable living.
3. Kitchenware and Electronics
Certain cultures follow the custom of buying new household items during certain important festivals that signify beginning of a new year as per local ritual. While it is a good and auspicious opportunity to buy what you need new or something you want to replace, it is also a trap to get lured into buying impulsively with heavy discount offers and sale. Impulsive purchases often tend to be used rarely or sometimes, never.
So be mindful to buy something you really need, want to own or replace. Discard the old piece sensibly before the fresh purchase.
No celebration is complete without a special meal. This occurs in every culture around the world where an unique food spread is prepared. This is a fantastic way to celebrate local cuisine culture while also teaching the future generation. Because people gather in huge numbers at such events, a lot of food is cooked and shared, which sometimes is thrown away.
Food waste, with its high greenhouse gas footprint, is one of the primary causes of climate change.Make it a point to cook enough without going overboard. Share any remaining perishable food with those who need it. Connect with a local NGO that can gather leftover food for distribution.
Festivals also imply gift-giving and gift-receiving. It teaches us to share and spread happiness, as well as the value of generosity and humility. We can teach children to be grateful for what they have and receive. Unwanted and undesirable gifts are usually end up as waste.
Use platforms like TIWIW to express what you need and want as a gift. Encourage family and friends to express their desires through TIWIW.
These are a few simple steps that will make your holiday celebrations more meaningful and enjoyable for everyone. A tiny action taken by one person has a larger influence when taken collectively. This is what motivates us at TIWIW, and we hope it motivates you as well.
Celebrate everyday, be responsible.