December, 2015 – Staying Green and Calm Through the Holidays


Living GreenBryan Hayes

Staying Green and Calm Through the Holidays

By Bryan Hayes

Can you believe the season is now upon us?  Of course, here in South Florida we may not have the snow, ice and cold, but we are not immune to the many stressors that are a part of the holidays.    While this is supposed to be the time of great joy, it can also be a difficult time for many.

I may not be able to help you with your relatives and in-laws (can we say Recycle or better yet Reduce), but I can offer some suggestions that are not only good for the environment but will help relieve the stress of gift giving too.  Gift giving can be a lot of fun, but it can also be incredibly nerve-racking.   In tough times, economics plays a part as well because this is an especially expensive time of the year.

The first suggestion to living green is to keep the green in your pocket.    Spend based upon your budget rather than on what others think you should allocate or in keeping up with the neighbors.   With children it can be particularly difficult because there is so much competition related to what one has and as parents we want the best for our children.   Being practical can be ok, too.

In fact, practicality is a lost art.  The holidays can often equate to excess, though reducing can be helpful.   Take travel, for example – by driving less you cut down on omissions in the environment.

Have you ever noticed trash day after the holidays?   How about promoting recycling by using old newspapers as wrapping paper?   Speaking of recycling, instead of putting everything into the trash, utilizing the appropriate recycling bin instead can eliminate a lot of unnecessary waste.

Does the thought of shopping for presents have you stressed?  How about getting something that is actually two gifts in one?   If you have someone you know in the service industry, such as a massage therapist, a gift certificate not only makes a great gift, but can also benefit a friend’s business.   Plus, you are promoting local businesses.

If your budget is more than a little tight this year, make something.   Utilize your artistic talents, or write a heart-felt note or a poem.   The lost art of putting pen to paper can make someone feel very special.

Many workplaces also have an annual gift giving party.  That may seem like fun for many, but we may not know someone else’s situation. For example, how they may be struggling.  For some, it may mean having to choose between purchasing a gift for a coworker as opposed to a necessary gift for a family member.

There is also another opportunity and that is to donate to a local charity.   Also, you may know of someone personally who is struggling just to get by.  You can help them out, as well as know exactly where your money is going.

Lastly, give yourself a break.  This time of year can become incredibly hectic.  Take a moment to breathe.   You deserve it!


Bryan Hayes is an actor, amateur photographer, business consultant, inspirational speaker and full-time lover of all things living.  To check out more from Bryan Hayes, please visit his blog at: