Big Green Gazette, Volume XXF, Issue III

Curated for you by the Sustainable Dartmouth Interns Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

The Holiday Season is Here

The annual tree lighting on the Dartmouth Green. Source: Dartmouth News.

As the holiday season rolls in, many things will undoubtedly look different this year than ever before. We recently surpassed the one year mark since COVID-19 first made its mark on the world, and it looks like it will be a while longer before we’re able to gather and mingle in the ways we typically would for the holidays. Although our holiday celebrations will look much different this year, the third and final BGG of 2020 focuses on how to still honor our personal sustainability goals even during the holidays. Keep reading for tips on giving and gifting sustainably, avoiding holiday food waste, understanding the settler-colonial history of Thanksgiving, how we can honor Indigenous folks on this “holiday,” and more.

Ways to Give

‘Tis the season of giving! A few ideas if you’re planning on spreading the love this holiday season:

Speaking of mutual aid – what is it? In essence, mutual aid is a solidarity-based pooling of community resources to be redistributed to meet the survival needs of community members. Mutual aid funds have become especially prominent during the pandemic, particularly to fill in the gaps where the government has failed to provide basic social services. Mutual aid differs from charity in that it a) recognizes that the system engendering inequity is ultimately what must change and b) is based on collective relationships of trust and struggle instead of the imbalanced, one-way street approach of charity. We recommend researching mutual aid funds active in your home area to learn how to get involved. Read this article for more on mutual aid.

Tips for Giving Sustainably

  • Get thrifty! Thrift stores are full of hidden treasures that often just need a little creativity and craftiness to spruce up!

  • Give something that is useful-- joke items are fun, but often end up being thrown away. Try to think of something that will last!

  • Reuse gift wrap, or use material that is already “waste,” like newspapers!

  • Wrap your gift in something reusable like a jar, a shoebox, or fabric!

  • Gift treats! Baked goods are a wonderful and welcome gift that can be safely delivered to your loved one’s doorstep.

  • Other resources to check out:

  • Your Complete Guide To Sustainable Gifts For 2020

  • 25 Sustainable & Ethical Gifts for Everyone on your list

The Truth About the Holidays

  • The First Thanksgiving: Separating Myth From Fact: Ruth Hopkins, a Dakota/Lakota Sioux writer, biologist, attorney, and former tribal judge, breaks down the myths and facts about Thanksgiving and early encounters between Pilgrims and the Wampanoag.

  • Wondering about your potential environmental impact on Black Friday? Watch this video on Black Friday and Climate Change, read National Geographic’s article