With Chinese New Year coming up on February 12, 2021, we’re looking forward to welcoming in the Year of the Ox. Celebrated by over a billion people worldwide, Chinese New Year is a time to usher in new beginnings and come together with family. What better way to mark the occasion than by starting off the new year on eco-friendly footing? Here are 3 ways to have a greener Chinese New Year.
Give your home an eco-friendly clean
Cleaning your home, or “sweeping away the dust”, is a traditional part of Chinese New Year celebrations. It can involve getting rid of unwanted clutter as well as dusting, spritzing and refreshing rooms and surfaces.
If you are decluttering, a great way to be sustainable is to consider the pollution prevention hierarchy . Before you trash unwanted stuff, ask yourself if these items could be reused, upcycled, or gifted to someone in your life. Donating to thrift stores or selling online are also great ways to part with your items. If none of these options are possible, check whether there’s a recycling program that takes your stuff (hint: if you have old paint, , lights or alarms, you can drop them off for recycling in select provinces!)
Bonus idea: Once you’ve tidied, check out this comprehensive guide to zero waste cleaning options for every room of your home. Zero waste cleaners can be a great way to use up food scraps or things you might already have lying around!
Make your own decorations
Decorating your home for Chinese New Year is thought to keep evil away and encourage peace, health and prosperity, while the colour red is used to symbolize good luck for the coming year. Rather than buying new, why not try making your own decorations at home this year? You can even get the whole family involved.
We love these DIY patterns for Year of the Ox lanterns and traditional red or patterned lanterns made from paper you may already have. You could even try your hand at the intricate tradition of “paper cut art” (剪纸 jiǎn zhǐ) – all you’ll need is some coloured paper. We love this beginner design and there are even more ideas on this Chinese New Year DIYs Pinterest board.
Have a sustainable feast
We all know how important food is during the holidays, and Chinese New Year is no different. Sadly, this can come at a cost – it’s been reported that food waste increases by up to 25% during holiday periods. To indulge sustainably, consider how to reduce your food waste when preparing meals. Simple ways to do this include planning ahead, using proper storage to make leftovers last longer, and making only as much food as you need. Here are 7 more helpful tips for reducing food waste !
You can also try incorporating local, seasonal produce, and some meat free options when planning your menu. Here are 20 vegan recipes for Chinese New Year to get you inspired – the zucchini-filled Siu Mai looks delectable!
How will you be ringing in the Year of the Ox? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram!