5 tips to have a greener Christmas
This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
All I want for Christmas this year is a lower consumption. Somehow I feel like we have lost the true spirit of this holiday in the orgy of shopping addiction. This kinda has come to characterize our way we celebrate. Christmas might be about trees, yes, but that’s definitely not what makes it a green celebration. Not at all. But by shopping local, creating your own gifts, upcycling, and reducing waste, you can make the Christmas season more sustainable. Plus you will also save some money!
Read on to see what you can do this year to make Christmas a little greener. I listed you 5 really doable ideas for a greener holiday.
1) Wrap your gifts in recycled wrapping paper
First of all: Immaterial gifts are so much more personal. But if you still want to make another one, here are some tips on how to reduce waste and make it more sustainable. Because one of the biggest sources of waste each Christmas is wrapping paper. Why not looking through magazines for colourful pictures? Or simply use old newspapers. It may take some imagination to make this look nice but you could easily dress up your gift by using some lovely ribbons. Bags and boxes are an alternative to wrapping paper as well. You could reuse specially made gift bags you’ve received, or bags from nice shops.
Not green enough yet? Try this: Wrap something in a scarf or handkerchief. You might find nice scarves at a local charity shop in your city.
2) Write your own Christmas cards
Christmas cards are another eco crime in the making. You can reduce the damage by looking for sustainable writing paper. And then you just design your own cards. It’s easier than it seems. All you need is a great brush and some Pinterest inspiration. I’m pretty sure that those personal cards will surprise your beloved ones so much more than another gift. It’s also a great idea if you want to give a gift card to someone.
If you’re really not the designer there are also charities who offer Christmas cards. Plus: Already think about the next year. Once Christmas is over you can reuse the cards from this season as gift tags for next year, or recycle them!
3) Use natural decorations
Just bring the smell of the forest to your front door by foraging for your own greenery for doing a wreath instead of getting a store bought one. Or try this one, especially if you’re a foodie: Make a delicious and fragrant wreath using items from your herb garden. It would look perfect hanging in any Christmas kitchen.
Another great (and really simple) decoration idea are pine cones. Put them in a glass together with some dried oranges and cinnamon sticks.
Last but not least, a really easy one that we used to do at home when I was a kid. Just take some oranges and decorate them with some cloves that you groove into them. The smell is heavenly!
4) Choose the right lights
Did you know that the lights you choose to put on your tree actually have a much bigger impact than the tree itself? A switch to LED lights is a major step toward sustainability. LED lights use about 1/6 the amount of energy that “traditional” Christmas lights use.
5) Shop local
Reduce your emissions and support a sustainable local economy. Support them by checking out local boutiques, farmer’s markets (I can recommand you farmy.ch if you’re from Switzerland), family-owned businesses and craft fairs to find great gifts that are totally unique. Always keep in mind too the costs of transportation. The fewer shopping trips you take, the better you are treating the environment. If you can walk to the stores or take public transit that’s so much better.
Note: Eating plant based in general is more sustainable than eating animal products like meat and dairy. If you’re still looking for a festive vegan menu head and some christmas treats I link you some of my friends here:
- 21 healthy Christmas recipes by Lynn
- Nutloaf by Janine
- Cookies, Muffins and more Xmas treats by Klara
- Homemade vegan gnocchi by Bianca
- Gingerbread Slices with Persimmon and Cream by Verena
- Vegan Spiced Cranberry Dutch Baby by Nisha
Now it’s your turn. What do you do for a greener Christmas? Or which points of my list do you think are a good idea? Let me know your thoughts.
Wishing you all a mindful and coscious Christmas.
Lots of love,