8 tips and ideas for a sustainable Christmas

Is a sustainable Christmas possible? Christmas is a symbolic date that marks a period of spiritual reflection but also of excessive consumption. Every year, the party is marked by food waste, high garbage generation, and the purchase of many products with a reduced shelf life.

Sustainable Christmas Tips

So, how about rethinking your habits and adopting a sustainable Christmas that prioritizes conscious consumption and more ecological attitudes? This is also a way to influence your family members or the people with whom you will share supper.

Sustainable Christmas Tips

Check out eight simple tips to have an eco-friendly Christmas with respect for the environment!

1. Consume seasonal and local foods

Seasonal foods require fewer resources to produce than those of another season. They are more nutritious (as they are grown in the right climate) and come at a cheaper price, as they are in abundance at the time in question. Even better, make a point of buying organic food.

During the Christmas period, in December, seasonal foods are usually pineapple, plum, banana, cherry, green coconut, apricot, fig, raspberry, soursop, kiwi, pear orange, lemon, lychee, apple, mango, passion fruit, watermelon, melon, nectarine, peach, pomegranate, grape, chicory, chive, endive, fennel, grape leaf, mint, oregano, arugula, parsley, celery, zucchini, beetroot, carrot, mushroom, pepper, tomato and green bean -noodle.

Furthermore, the closer the consumption is to the place of production, the smaller the environmental footprint. By consuming products grown in the vicinity of residential areas, the pollution emitted by vehicles transporting goods is significantly reduced, as are the losses resulting from the degradation of food in this process. The followers of the practice of consuming locally are called locavores.

2. Don’t put lights on live trees

Just like humans, Christmas trees need to “rest” during the night. The absence of light also played a role in the evolution of these beings and the seasons. For example, the leaves fall in winter to save the tree’s energy.

If it were summer all year round, the tree’s life expectancy would decrease, as more extraordinary efforts would be required to maintain its plant organism. By placing lights on trees, you prevent plant “rest.”

In addition, what is more serious is that some people nail light bulbs directly to the trunk of trees, which can prevent the transport of nutrients and be fatal for the individual plant. In that case, a tree that would live 250 years could have its life reduced to 30 years.

I prefer to decorate the concrete environment. Do it safely (thinking about you and the house), and when choosing ornamental light bulbs for your sustainable Christmas, I prefer LED light bulbs. They consume less energy and have several color options.

Another benefit is that, unlike ordinary light bulbs, connecting several chains of LED lights together is no problem. Burning one of them will not affect the performance of the others. But remember that everything must be turned off at bedtime to avoid fires.

3. Make your ornaments or use live fruits and plants

Christmas coincides with summer, a time when, in almost all regions, it is rainy. Therefore, it is easy to find leafy plants that grow on sidewalks and will soon be removed by the city hall, as they are considered weeds.

But what is on the sidewalk looks ugly, but in a well-made arrangement, it can look fabulous. Note that on the sidewalks, you can find gorgeous flowers such as the small purslane and dandelion (don’t confuse the flower – yellow – with the seed pompom, which is white) and even foliage and tiny charming mosses. Some ruderal plants, such as dandelion and purslane, are even edible and are called unconventional food plants.

In addition to this type of plant, you can use natural fruits and leaves to make sustainable Christmas wreaths and decorative items. How about using cherries or slices of dried fruit like lemon and rosemary leaves? In addition to being biodegradable, they are elegant and personalized and contain the natural scent of rosemary. It is much better than the plastic alternatives that gather dust in the closet and take years to decompose after being discarded.

This can be applied when setting up your Christmas tree. Instead of buying plastic trees or cutting down real pine trees, how about putting together a sustainable option? You can make this using dried leaves, a plant from your house, recycled materials, and even old fabrics and clothes. Put your creativity into play and try to recycle and reuse as many objects as possible on your Christmas tree.

4. Need packing? So use creativity

These days, there is no excuse for wrapping gifts using plastic. Instead of this type of packaging, you can use cardboard bags (offered in some stores), fabrics, personalized glass jars (to be reused), newspaper, cardboard boxes, eco-bags, string, cloth ribbons, and all: packaging none. The correct packaging is essential for a sustainable Christmas!

5. Learn a vegan recipe and share it

According to the information in the IPCC report summary, the human population needs to adhere to a new food model. This new model suggests reducing the consumption of livestock products, such as beef, pork, and animal milk. This change in the dietary model is economically, socially, and environmentally healthy and could reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality due to overconsumption.

Animal protein intake (including fish) has a more significant socio-environmental impact than a vegetarian diet. It is less healthy because of pesticides and other harmful substances.

6. Do you go shopping? Take a purse or eco bag!

When it’s time to do your Christmas shopping (if needed), it’s the same story as at the market: take your returnable bag or purse. After all, by logic, sellers will deliver their items in different packages, and at the end of the shopping trip, there will be no fingers to hold so many bags.

7. Share experiences, not things

It is true that it is quite cultural in our country to give objects as Christmas presents. If you think this is the best option and that the recipient will use it well, great. But what about when the present is a mere formality and, once opened, the person forgets it somewhere?

In this sense, it would be more worthwhile to have provided the person with a more valuable experience. A unique experience enhances enjoyment and provides memories for a lifetime.

You can offer your children an experience by donating your time and a park or an unusual game. Instead of buying something material to give as a Christmas present, try to offer experiences. Maybe a massage in an amazing place, a trip, a course, a show, skydiving, etc. If you’re not sure what they like, you can buy gift certificates and let the person choose.

8. Give a conscious gift

If you decide to buy things at the end of the day, choose eco-friendly products. If you give away clothes, prefer those from slow fashion if it’s another type of gift, like locally produced products that value workers in the production chain, vegan, and have a lighter footprint.

  • author avatar
    Nichole Sheley

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