written by Melody Flumendorf
photography Alina Betge
It’s finally Christmas again! Time to warm up with mulled wine, listen to Michael Buble on repeat and enjoy time with your friends and family. But the time between Christmas and January is a challenge when it comes to conscious living. You want to decorate your home, buy presents, get a tree- and all these things can harm the planet. Can you even avoid that? Good news: we’ve put together a few tips to make this your best and most sustainable Christmas ever! But how bad is Christmas for the planet?
On average, every German produces an extra 338kg of carbon dioxide during the Christmas holidays. All the food, presents and holiday travel adds up. In the U.K, the average excess waste includes 4,200 tones of aluminium foil, unwanted gifts worth £700 million and 80,000 tonnes of clothes. That’s a lot of extra waste for a few moments of joy!
But a sustainable Christmas doesn’t mean giving up on presents or having no festive meal with the people you care about. The key is to find the right balance. With a little bit of planning, you can avoid an enormous amount of waste.
120 million Christmas trees are cut down around the world every Christmas season. In Germany, over 90% of Christmas trees are thrown away after Christmas. You can avoid that and buy a real tree with the roots still attached- the most environmentally friendly Christmas tree solution. Depending on your area, you might also be able to cut your own Christmas tree. Or you could buy a certified organic one. Here’s a list for all our customers living in Germany.
Metallic wrapping paper and fancy glitter can’t be recycled. Do you have some fabric lying around the house? Why not use it as wrapping paper for your Christmas presents? If the Christmas present is small, you can hide it in a glass full of sweets or a stylish canister that can be used afterwards. Ikea has great ones, or have a look at your shop.
If you prefer wrapping paper, you can choose recycled, or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials for your presents.
Did you ever get a gift that’s supposed to be funny and clutters up your flat? You’re not alone. Novelty gifts are a plague worldwide (we know we have too much of them!).
Gift vouchers for experiences are always a good idea. Get creative and make a voucher that reflects your present. That can include anything from a manicure or dog walking to a day trip together. You can create a memory for life, and nothing will end up in the landfill.
Gift a better future. Everyone has that one friend who has everything or is such a minimalist it’s hard to come up with a useful Christmas gift. Someone like that might love an animal adoption or sponsor a child in need.
Homemade presents like lavender soap or bath bombs are perfect for the beauty lover in your life. YouTube is full of tutorials; just take your pick!
A reusable advent calendar is another great idea. There are some great options out there, or you can make your own.
We thought long and hard about how we can support you in making your Christmas sustainable and fun at the same time. That’s how we came up with the idea of bespoke Vinokilo surprise boxes. You’ll receive three different, unique products for a reduced price. You won’t know how they look, but you can still choose the kind of clothing you want. Categories will include sportswear and business, and of course, all clothes will be in your chosen size. That way, you can have a sustainable, stylish present for friends or yourself for an affordable price. Click here to have a look at the surprise box options.
How about crochet stars, a garland out of orange slices or salt dough ornaments? They look great, are fun to make and are zero waste. You can find the instructions for all three here.
For many of us, Christmas lights are a must-have decoration at this time of the year. If you love them too, choose the correct bulb. Your electricity bill will be much lower if you use LED lights. They also last longer, so you can use them again next year. You can use a timer to ensure they’re not on when you are not around to enjoy them.
Having a sustainable Christmas doesn’t have to be a lot of effort. Often, it’s enough to look for a more eco-friendly alternative before buying. Have a great holiday!
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