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December 17, 2021

Like Bonnie and Clyde, or two peas in a pod, Christmas and consumption are two things that go together. Despite it being one of the most awaited moments of the year, it’s the time when we tend to spend a lot of money on food, electricity, gifts, presents, decorations. All of these can give a lot of burden to the environment.


Thinking of starting Christmas while looking after the earth too? Here are 7 steps you can follow:

Merry Christmas greeting with small mistletoe

Gifts

Be creative. Be out of the box. Giving presents doesn’t always mean they have to come from stores. Creating your own gifts can be worthwhile, and handmade presents are actually more meaningful. Here are useful tips to create handmade gifts:- Think about what the person likes, his or her hobbies- Find out what the person needs or looking for- Other gift options are your personalized ‘services’ like fun coupons to enjoy your shoulder massage, cooking, or delicious baked goods.

Various presents wrapped in brown papers

In a certain situation, re-gifting is also possible. This is better than keeping something that you don’t use, creating a waste of space and joy. As you have known, make sure not to give the gift to the person who gave it to you in the first place. 

If you’re not sure about giving items as gifts that may never be used and end up lying in the attic, why not give the gift of an experience? That will carve memories that last. Examples of experiences such as theatre, cinema, or performance tickets, a museum or gallery visit, or a spa.

Homemade soap as gifts


E-cards


No paper. No waste.E-cards leave a much smaller carbon footprint on the planet. They're also easier. Faster. More practical. These days, there are many electronic greeting cards you can use to send fun, happy, personal greetings to your friends and family.

Brown blank greeting cards

Green gift wrapping

They’re cute and flashy, but once the fancy wrapping papers are torn, they end up in bins. If you want to reduce your waste, use alternatives to wrapping paper like newspapers or clothes.

Green Christmas tree


If you want to go even greener this year (pun intended), check out these 3 tips that will help you enjoy your Christmas tree in a more sustainable way:

  • Rent a tree

The company grows hundreds or thousands of trees throughout the year for several years. Once the tree is big enough, it becomes available for rent. You can "rent" a tree for a few weeks"rent". Workers carefully take it out of the ground to keep it alive. When you're done, the company will replant the tree and care for it until next Christmas. Some companies even let you choose the same tree every year. Find out which companies in your area offer this service.


  • Decorate a plant you already have

Get creative with the plants that are already in your home.

Crafting a misletoe

  • Buy second hand

Don't worry. If you're not a DIY or glue gun type of person, just look for a used tree from a friend, neighbor, or someone who lives nearby and is willing to drop off their tree. That way you won't create more waste, and the tree won't end up in a landfill this year.

Food

Christmas means cooking tons of food and wasting it. Every year, tons of leftover food ends up in the bins of thousands of households. How can this beavoided? Try these 3 tips:

  • Plan your cooking

Determine the number of guests, make a shopping list and stick to it.

  • Share your leftovers

This is a tricky one during Covid-19, so you need to think carefully about who you want to share your leftovers with. Perhaps limit yourself to your immediate family. Ask them to bring takeaway containers for any leftovers you want to take away after Christmas dinner.

Use those leftovers to mix into your salad, fill your sandwiches, wraps or pies.

Various Christmas meals

Lighting


How can you be efficient with electricity this holiday season? Simple. Turn them off when you go to sleep. Only leave the Christmas lights on in the room you are in. In addition.LED and other energy-saving Christmas lights can be a good option for saving energy.

Christmas lights

Decorations


What can you do for decorations? Do your own crafts, shop at thrift stores, reuse what you already have, and avoid plastic whenever possible. Plastic Christmas decorations are often difficult to recycle and therefore not accepted by recycling programs. So if it accidentally breaks, you'll have to throw it in the trash can.

Different kind of handmade materials

Christmas is a holiday celebrated by many people, and a lot of waste is created in the process. With these eco-conscious tips, you can have an eco-friendly Christmas. Are there any of these tips that you already use? If you have any other tips, share them with us here!



Text: Kathy Muenster, Zürich-based content designer

Photo: Unsplash


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