Happy Channukah & Merry Christmas! As we make our way well into the holiday season, it seemed like a good time to focus on our Green Living & Consumerism Pathway to greening up your school.

What does this holiday season really mean? In this consumeristic era we are living in, let us remember that light always overcomes the darkness in our lives. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to see that for all the pretty packaging on the outside. Looking at all the advertisements, it seems like we can’t even go a month before the latest and greatest gadget comes out causing everybody to discard their still-perfectly-working old devices for the new one. America is obsessed with the “new.”

Even the fashion industry is in on it– waste from the fashion world’s textile industry discards 12 million pieces from a single factory every year. When these fabrics are made, ~10-100% of the weight of the fabric is added in chemicals contributing to air and water pollution, as well as health issues. Then, by the time clothes make down to the consumer, people wear their clothes for less than 3 years before discarding them.

Now, let’s stop & think for a moment. Remove all the distractions. If you focused on quality rather than quantity how would your gift giving and receiving be different? There are a great many ways to show our love and appreciation for our loved ones without creating a world of excess waste, like making and upcycling gifts. Upcycling is taking something that is considered waste and repurposes it. Like taking plastic bags and crocheting them into eco-mochillas or braiding them into jewelry, or even turning an old bag into a solar-powered bag.

Upcycled gifts are often even more beautiful than the original ones. And definitely more thoughtful, too, because you took time out of your busy schedule to craft a personal token for your loved ones. So, how will YOU take up the challenge??

Challenge: Turn making and upcycling gifts the trend this holiday season! What gifting plans can your school come up with that are good for all and the planet, not just the recipient?

SHARE! We want to hear about your projects, so please share them with us on Instagram. Use the hashtag #SantasGreenWorkshop and win a chance to have your school recognized nationally via a re-post on our Project Green Schools IG page, as well other recognition opportunities. For helpful tips on your school’s participation, check out the Guidelines for Operation: #viralSTEMchallenge.