4 Eco-friendly ways to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival
Mid-Autumn Festival, commonly known as Lantern or Mooncake Festival, is one of the most traditional festivals celebrated in East Asia on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar month every year. During this joyous time of the year, families and friends will come together to celebrate the centuries-old harvest festival worshipping the moon with lanterns, moon cakes and Dragon dances.
Unfortunately, any festival around the World is usually accompanied by waste. According to local charity Food Grace, households ended up with 2.9 million leftover mooncakes, an increase of 630,000 from the previous year which leads to the problem of serious food wastage every year.
At Savour!, we believe you can share love and joy with your family and friends in a more conscious way to reduce any wastage. Here are a few simple steps you can take to reduce or limit your environmental impact for a greener Mid-Autumn Festival!
1. Say no to the glow sticks
Let’s protect the environment by saying ‘No’ to glow sticks! Glow sticks can’t be reused or recycled because of the toxic chemicals encased in the plastic tubes which will be left to pollute soil and water. Hence, there are plenty of alternatives that are more meaningful eco- eco-friendly.
For instance, downloading a ‘glow stick’ mobile app, wearing LED clothing or carrying mini flashlights can work just as well. It is important to teach the younger generation about environmental protection to achieve long term sustainability goals.
2. Choose sustainable mooncake packaging
Mooncakes are key element of the festival and sending mooncakes as gift is becoming indispensable part of the festival. While the mooncakes being offered are getting fancier, So is the packaging. Mooncake packaging is undoubtedly a priority for most consumers.
Over the years, mooncake producers tried to outdo others, its packaging has evolved to become more exquisite and lavish. A lot of the materials used for packaging are not sustainable materials like plastic, metal, paper, fabric and Wood. As much as mooncakes are representative of Mid autumn festival, it is also fast becoming symbolic of excessive consumption and waste.
According to Singapore’s Environmental Council, more than 40% of mooncake packaging is considered unnecessary and wasteful which can be harmful to the environment. Thus, it is suggested to opt for mooncakes that offer biodegradable, reusable and recyclable mooncakes packaging.
3. Up-cycle old lanterns
Lanterns, along with mooncakes, are another traditional practice during the Mid-autumn festival. Though they are undoubtedly beautiful, lanterns can be harmful to the environment. A survey conducted by Green Power estimated that more than two million plastic lanterns are thrown out annually, which contributed to the massive waste.
Therefore, how to enjoy ourselves during this festive session without adding more wastage into the environment?
-Reuse your lanterns every year or be creative to make your own DIY unique lanterns from your own decorations.
-Buy good quality paper or natural fabric lanterns with reusable LED lights instead of glow sticks.
-Avoid buying lanterns of over design or made of composite materials.
4. Donate unwanted mooncakes
As much as mooncakes are representative of the Mid-Autumn festival, it is also becoming symbolic of excess consumption and waste. There is evidence that huge amounts of them end up in trash annually which causes the problem of mooncake waste to be very serious each year.
Savour! encourages you to donate any soon-to-expire or surplus mooncakes to different non-profit organisations to not only reduce food wastage but to help distribute to the community of underprivileged to tackle food insecurity.
So this year, let’s celebrate and cherish the precious stuff in our life, our beloved family and friends as well as our Mother Nature. Hopefully the few tips we share here would help you and your loved ones to waste less in this warm and gathering season.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival Everyone!
Written by Karmen
Karmen is a Marketing Intern at Savour!