What is Sustainable Christmas? We show you how you can do something good for the environment and yourself with simple tips.
Text by Viola Haderlein
We show ideas how a sustainable Christmas can work. Because we all want a peaceful Christmas, but sooner or later we are usually overwhelmed by the stress of Christmas. Then gifts are ordered online due to lack of time, decorations with unnecessary packaging are provided, the ingredients for the Christmas dinner are bought last minute in the supermarket around the corner, because it is simply faster.
This not only creates a hectic atmosphere, but also pollutes the environment. Here are some tips about decoration, packaging and gifts to make the run-up to Christmas more contemplative.
10 tips for Sustainable Christmas
1. Mindful Christmas inventory
A well-thought-out Christmas countdown helps with effective planning and avoids rash last-minute purchases. Regularly schedule small time slots for preparation. During this time, you can note down all activities, gifts and necessary errands for decoration and food around Christmas.
2. Sustainable advent calendars
The chocolate advent calendar has had its day due to its plastic interior. Refillable calendars made of fabric, wood or cardboard with sustainable filling are more personal and environmentally friendly: go through the organic market and weekly markets with open eyes. Here you will find small organic and fair trade products for the 24 days of Advent. You can also fill the calendar with vouchers for joint activities and motivational sayings.
You can find more creative ones here Ideas for a sustainable advent calendar
3. Christmas trees for a sustainable Christmas
Around 25 million Christmas trees are sold in Germany every year. Loud FEDERATION However, 90% of it comes from Christmas tree cultures. In conventional plantations, pesticides and fertilizers are often used for rapid growth and against insect infestation, which damage the environment and animals. Abroad, tree workers are often exposed to life-threatening working conditions. You have alternative Christmas trees with a clear conscience
- Real Christmas tree: Look out for providers of FSC or PEFC certified Trees. Also look for regional suppliers of domestic fir or spruce. Organic Christmas trees can be recognized by seals such as Naturland, Demeter and Biokreis. There is an online delivery service at Organic Christmas trees online and a list of where to buy organic Christmas trees Robin Wood.
- Tree in a pot: The tree in the pot is the trend this year. These can be rented from different providers in each city. There are Christmas tree rentals that even bring the trees and pick them up again after the party, such as WunderTree. This avoids disposal, because the tree will be replanted after the festival as soon as the soil allows it.
- Tree rental: There are also providers where you can simply rent Christmas trees, for example at Christmas tree friends.
The start-up also offers a creative alternative No night tree. Here Christmas trees are put together on a modular stand with pine green.
4. Natural Christmas decorations
Atmospheric Christmas decorations made of natural materials are best suited for winter, when we can bring nature home. On the next walk, collect branches, berries, pine cones and use them for Advent wreaths. In addition, traditionally reusable tree decorations are preferred. Glass balls, wooden decorations, painted ceramics or hand-made tree decorations, such as traditional straw stars, enhance every Christmas tree.
For lighting, it is better to use environmentally friendly LED string lights. If you prefer classic candles, you should look for certified organic candles that are made of beeswax or soybeans and not of environmentally harmful paraffin or stearin, whose raw materials are petroleum or palm oil. There are nice alternatives from, for example Still or Auli London
5. Sustainable gift ideas
Giving presents is pleasure; even more so, if the recipient knows that the gift also benefits a social purpose. And again, even better, if there is a story to tell behind every present. There are many ways to find meaningful Christmas gifts. Take advantage of the offer of local shops that sell fairly traded products.
Pay attention to the least possible packaging and to the fact that it can be understood, where the products and under which conditions these were manufactured. Do not just check sustainable online shops for eco-friendly packaging and CO2 shipping options. Alternatively, you can make Zero-Waste gifts yourself, such as self-made cosmetics.
Click here for ours ultimate X-Mas guide for sustainable gifts
7. Gifts for sustainable Christmas
In order to avoid the typical piles of rubbish from gift wrap after Christmas, you should avoid gift wrapping with paint or metal surfaces. Always keep used wrapping paper for reuse. Recycled paper or wrapping paper from environmentally friendly sources are pretty alternatives that can also be wrapped with colored cotton cords, twine and fir branches in a decorative way.
You can also use paper or masking tape instead of plastic adhesive tape. A nice idea is gift packaging, which can be used. So are paper boxes or beautiful cloth towels, wrapped in the gifts and tied with a ribbon.
You can find more here Tips for sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging
8. Christmas dinner: healthy and enough for everyone
To prevent unnecessary food leftovers after the Christmas feast, plan the Christmas shopping and feasting ahead and resource-saving. If it's a goose, make sure it's from certified organic origin. Use leftovers sensibly: For example, you can conjure up a cheese fondue from cheese leftovers.
With leftover bread you can surprise your guests at Christmas breakfast with “Poor Knights”, a traditional fried leftover meal made from bread breaded with egg, cinnamon and sugar. Think of those who spend Christmas alone or in the cold, and find out to which charitable associations or panels you can donate food. With this you make the festival of love so many unknown people a special joy.
Here you can find recipes for Christmas cocktails to brighten up the run-up to Christmas
9. Meatless alternative: vegan Christmas
By not eating meat we protect the climate, but do not have to give up excellent taste. For vegetarians and vegans, there are now versatile recipes that make the banquet even meatless to culinary delights.
Take your time and plan your individual holiday menu. Try complicated recipes in advance so that they succeed on the holidays right off the bat. Even if the feast should not be exclusively meatless, it is worthwhile, especially at Christmas to replace one or the other food with a meatless alternative.
10. Fair Christmas greetings
You can send Christmas greetings by e-mail at time and CO2 to save. There are numerous providers of personal greeting cards that can be easily sent online.
If you still want to personally sign and send your Christmas mail, use postcards and envelopes made from recycled paper or other sustainable materials such as bamboo or cork from manufacturers. E.g. from Bow and Hummingbird. When it comes to postage, think about climate-neutral shipping (as gogreen).