Christmas is coming imminently and we are very excited to spend precious moments with our families. It is also "the most wonderful time of the year", but unless you are planning a Green Christmas, it is also the most wasteful and consumer-driven period of the year. But what if we all change small habits to try to keep Mother Earth happy?
Whether we consider it a religious moment for us or family, the celebration of Christmas has an important meaning in the world. We can make an effort to make these dates ecological only with a simple action, and we must all make it a sustainable celebration with our loved ones instead of a commercial one. Christmas should make you feel the same way as when you were a child: full of magic, wonder and connection.
What is the eco-footprint of Christmas?
We spend approximately $75 billion on Christmas gifts, 1.9 billion cards sent and 20.8 million Christmas trees cut, and this only in the US. As you can see the impact of this holiday is quite important, and the global information that comes to us from the Australian Conservation Foundation, is that a minimum of 2,285,000 tons of greenhouse pollution contributed to Christmas alone in Australia.
Here are some actions you can take to get started, but the more you try and think about the different elections this holiday season, the more ideas for Green Christmas will come to you.
- It is important to choose sustainable materials such as organic cotton, Seacell, bamboo... all are natural and renewable materials, and also add texture and character to the gifts.
- Decorations: instead of using paper napkins and tablecloths, or plastic plates and cutlery, choose some cloth and plates and cutlery that you have at home and that can be washed and used again. Decorate the table with natural flowers or pine cones, do not buy plastic. If you have old decorations that you will not reuse, donate them in a thrift store or online.
- Candles: paraffin candles are made of petroleum residues and the smoke that it emits is harmful to your health and the environment. Candles made from soybeans, beeswax or natural wax, which are made from vegetables, which are more ecological because they biodegrade and are smoke free.
- Gifts: make your own recycled wrapping paper, because, as you already know, some papers we buy cannot be recycled. You can create your own gift wrap with recycled shopping bags or brown kraft paper. You will also make your packaging unique by making your own stamps with the shapes you find at home, such as potatoes and other vegetables.
- Ecological Christmas tree: Cut the glasses of the beautiful fir trees of our city just to be able to have them in our living rooms for a month, it seems unnecessary and cruel, in addition to not all of us can buy a traditional Christmas tree. Check out the different sustainable alternatives of Christmas trees that you can find for this season. And if what you want is the most sustainable and ecological Christmas tree option, grow your own tree in a pot! Simply pick up one of your local nurseries and put it outside once the snow melts.
- Christmas tree decorations: there are countless ways to decorate your tree with recycled and original items that you will find in your home and garage.
- Make your Christmas local: since this is the ideal time to buy locally, so we recommend visiting your local farmers market with a list of foods you have for Christmas. The food will be fresher and greener, because the shortest transport distance from the field to your home will significantly reduce carbon emissions.
- Advent Calendar: make yours with wood or cloth and in this way you can reuse it every year.
- Christmas lights: with these lights you will be able to create a pleasant atmosphere, but if you also use only LED lights and a timer so that the lights only turn on when it is dark, you will be able to considerably reduce the amount of energy consumed.
- Remember what this season brings: it is not about accumulating more, but spending time with your loved ones, enjoying the traditions and memories that we will create. Enjoy the moment and that will help you have a more sustainable Christmas.