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Simplify the Holidays

December 02, 2014

The holidays are a time of celebration with family, friends, and the community. Every family celebrates the season in different ways and for different reasons, but there is a universal act in which most participate: Giving. This once-simple holiday tradition has led to consumption practices that can have serious impacts on our environment -and the family budget! Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation would like to remind you to Simplify the Holidays! Our 12 Days of a Green Holiday Guide has great ideas to help simplify your season and make a commitment to start new traditions today! Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Give reusable or homemade gifts. Check out KHF's Simplify the Holidays on Pinterest for lots of fun DIY ideas!
  • Reuse wrapping paper and bows or try repurposing magazines, newspapers, brown paper bags, maps, fabric or artwork to make your own unique eco-friendly packages. Plastic Free Hawai'i reusable bags are also a good gift-wrapping option, and then it's a gift inside a gift.
  • Cut out pictures and messages from last year's cards, and put them together to create brand new cards for this year.
  • Consider giving the gift of Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation membership or making a donation to Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation in the name of your friends and loved ones.
  • Give teachers,coworkers, and friends edible gifts, plants, or gift certificates instead of “stuff” that will get stuck in a drawer somewhere.
  • When buying a Christmas tree, consider live potted trees that you can keep. If you do get a cut tree, try to find one that's locally grown instead of imported. Helemano Farms on Oahu offers locally grown holiday trees. Remember to “treecycle” your tree with your green waste after Christmas. 
  • Treat your family to a holiday experience, like Honolulu Theatre for Youth's Rock'n the Holidays with Rakugo which showcases Japanese storytelling paired with classic stories of the holidays. Time spent together is more precious then anything sold in a store!
  • Looking for tips and ideas that will help you green you classroom crafts and parties?
  • The newest volume of our Green Holiday Educator Guide is full of ideas for educators of all ages! Check out all of our Simplify the Holidays resources for green holiday inspiration!

Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation will be sharing ideas for holiday seasonal cheer at Whole Foods Markets in Kailua and Kahala this month. Stop by to learn more about upcycling and low waste crafts, gifts, and decorations. Activities will be available for kids of all ages:

Saturday, December 6th
Whole Foods Market Kailua

Sunday, December 7th
Whole Foods Market Kahala

Please check out our Highlights of the Month for a list of craft fairs hosted by local school around the island where you can find unique, hand-made and locally-produced gifts this holiday season.

We would like to give The New American Dream credit for inspiring us to bring the Simplify the Holidays campaign to Hawai'i. Check out their website for creative tips and resources and take the pledge to simplify your holidays. Their SoKind Registry is designed to encourage homemade gifts, charitable donations, and gifts of time.
We hope these tips and resources will help you reduce stress and increase personal fulfillment during this holiday season.