It’s still best to try the above options first, but if you are deciding between a cut or plastic tree, opt for a locally grown cut tree. If you already have a plastic tree, use it for as long as possible.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with thrifting for presents. Often items are good as new and totally unique. Second hand shops carry jewelry, kitchenware, games, holiday decorations (great for wrapping decoration), books, records, and loads of wonderful potential-gifts.
Crafting your space intentionally can help articulate what you stand for—as not only your aesthetic, but your experiences, passions, and values are reflected back at you.
When you begin a ritual behavior, it’s like the act of pushing a ball downhill—it’s the beginning of a compulsive cycle that builds powerful momentum. When engaging in ritual behaviors, there is a buildup of excitement, commitment (sometimes unconscious), and often a strong feeling of conflict.
The side of myself that wants my hands in the dirt and never to encounter a shower usually overpowers the side of myself that finds restoration in makeup application and shoes that clack when you walk, but sometimes the dynamic shifts. When it does, I thoroughly appreciate Goodwill sprees and REI store explorations, sometimes even H&M (don’t tell anyone)…
Many of these items (plastic and paper cups, utensils, napkins) are so cheap to produce that they automatically come with our food—even if we don’t want them to. As a result, we view these “free” materials as nearly worthless, and they go from single-use resources to “zero-use” resources: how many times have you received a straw with your drink that you didn’t use, or a clean napkin that you threw away with the rest of your meal?
To meet consumer demand, grocery stores “over-order, overstock, and are always prepared because they don’t want to lose that customer,” says Lauren. “As recently as 40 or 50 years ago, that just would not have been the case. But I live in New England and it’s March, and I can get pretty much anything at the grocery store that I want, whether it’s coming from down the street or halfway across the world.”