While the holiday season overflows with good cheer, it’s also trailed by a larger-than-normal environmental impact. Here are some tips to decorate, gift and eat for a more eco-friendly Christmas 2018.
1. Ain’t No Plastic At My Table
If you think disposable cutlery and paper napkins look unattractive at the dinner table, wait until you see them at the landfill. We might all be guilty of this faux-pas from time to time, but especially holiday meals are the perfect time to pull out all the stops on that special dinner we’ve been dreaming of hosting. So let’s dress that table to impress! Think about simple chinaware, long-lasting cutlery, and cloth napkins that you can dazzle guests with over and over again.
2. Nature Is Our Decor
Adorn your dinner table and front door with fallen tree branches and pine cones. We also found some handmade wooden decor at the Christmas market. It does not only look suuuper cute but is 100% biodegradable and can be used for many years to come. Also, fill your home with eatable treats such as gingerbread, nuts, fresh cookies and the scent of nutmeg.
3. Last Year’s Remains Are This Year’s Decor
And if you have some old Christmas cards, use them to decorate door frames or cut them up and use them as gift tags! You can also re-use ribbons and bows from last season instead of buying new ones.
4. Ditch Traditional Wrapping Paper
Get creative and wrap those presents in layers of vintage newspapers and old magazines, a reusable storage box or an artisanal basket. We love it when the wrapping becomes part of the gift itself. So what about using beautiful clothes, scarves or vintage shirts to pack your presents? This will spare you a lot of waste and make your gifts stand out under the tree.
5. Keep That Tree Alive
When it comes to creating a healthy and inviting home, we say the more plants the merrier. This year you could try a potted living Christmas tree. They look really cute and can accompany you throughout the year! If you don’t have a green thumb, simply rent your tree on livingchristmas.com. Another alternative to buying a temporary tree – or much worse, installing a plastic tree – is to go the minimalist-chic route and get creative with your favorite locally-grown plant which you can use indoors🌴🌳🌵Your family and friends will be impressed!
6. Eat Consciously
Let’s face it, the holidays are one of our favorite times of year for eating. But why not incorporate some delicious vegetarian dishes and vegan baking into our recipe repertoire? Try out our friend’s @fraukeryan delicious variation of vegan recipes– they are to die for! And if you just can’t do without all of your favorite butter, egg and meat-intensive dishes, we recommend buying local, free-range and organic whenever you can.
7. Quality Over Quantity Gifts
We’re big believers in quality over quantity. Thoughtfully pick out presents that are meaningful to your loved ones. Get them something that they actually need or have been wanting for ages. See our 7 Sustainable Christmas Gifts That Last A Lifetime guide to get some ideas. And don’t forget that store-bought gifts are not the only way to go. Sometimes a day at the spa or some special one-on-one time moments can mean so much more to the ones you love.
8. Give Gifts That Give Back
Hmmm what to give the person who has everything? – Actually, besides love, give a donation on their behalf. Give people in underdeveloped communities a chance to build a business that will break the cycle of poverty. Or give a year of education to a young girl in need. You can also give back by donating or re-gifting items that you don’t need or use any more. What brings relief to you, brings joy to others.
9. Come Home But Off-Set Your Carbon Footprint, Baby
There’s nothing better than spending the holidays at home with your loved ones. But all this jet-setting we’ve been doing lately (or at least daydreaming of at work) has an immense impact on our environment. If you can avoid plane travel, we suggest opting for the train or a car-sharing program such as blablacar whenever possible. If planes are your only realistic option, choose a flight with fewer or no stop-overs and pack as light as possible.
Wishing You Happy & Conscious Holidays!
Mia is a Paris-based freelance writer from Vienna. When she was a little girl, she dreamed of living in the Amazon jungle, where she would protect the rain forest and animal life. Now living in the city jungle of the French capital (things sometimes turn out differently than expected), she found her calling in raising awareness about pretty much everything sustainable, vegan, organic and ethical. The trained copywriter received her MA in Global Communications in Fashion at the American University of Paris. miawindischgraetz.com