The green light for Christmas
Sustainability is the new festive
Do you remember the days when Christmas was all about getting together in a festive mood and enjoying little treats? Times have changed. Nowadays people brag not only about the ‘most over the top’ decorated Christmas tree, but also about how environmentally conscious it was chosen and how artistically and sustainably the gifts are wrapped.
But seriously, Christmas is THE time of year to let the credit cards overheat and the bins overflow. But why do we celebrate Christmas at all – and then so excessively? Well, of course, it’s about love, family and … presents! Lots and lots of presents.
Figures without the glossy shine
According to statistics, Germans spend an average of over 280 euros per person on Christmas presents (source: Statista, 2021). Worldwide, Christmas sales are estimated to be over 400 billion euros! (Source: Deloitte, 2021) You can see Father Christmas dashing through the snow in a Ferrari!
According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), Europeans produce on average 5% more waste during the Christmas season compared to other months of the year. This is mainly due to increased consumption of goods and food as well as packaging waste (source: European Environment Agency, 2020 report) and in Germany an estimated 25-30 million Christmas trees are sold each year. (Source: Federal Association of Christmas Tree and Cut Greenery Producers, 2021). Here are some starting points on how to make Christmas more sustainable … Let’s begin: Do we really need Christmas trees everywhere and every year?
The “green” Christmas tree
Buying a Christmas tree sustainably is like a dance. You want the perfect partner: locally grown, certified and maybe even in a pot so it will come back next year! And when it has finished its job as the shining centre piece of your living room, it can be composted, reused or replanted in your garden. It’s certainly worth doing some research and looking for your best individual solution.
We have a much more basic question: Do we all really need our own living Christmas tree? There are also beautiful flower arrangements and candlelight creates a wonderful atmosphere.
Or you can let yourself be inspired by Brazil. Here they have a spiral of light instead of a Christmas tree. Brazil loves to celebrate. The city of Natal has an artificial Christmas tree as its landmark, with a beautiful spiral of light that reaches over a hundred metres into the sky. This can certainly also be done on a smaller scale.
But these are only suggestions. You could also use artificial trees that are reusable, or enjoy the Christmas trees in your relatives‘ homes, where you spend most of your time at Christmas anyway.
Packaging that does not pile up
Oh yes, the family at Christmas … you can also ‘use’ them in an original way. Why not use the old newspaper clipping from Auntie Erna’s 80th birthday or your 5-year-old niece’s homemade painted picture as wrapping paper? Or how about using fabric scraps from Aunt Martha’s stash instead of glossy paper?
Let your creativity run free and leave the packaging waste behind you this year! Just don’t let it escalate into a competition to see who can make the most beautiful wrapping paper. We don’t want to jeopardize family peace 😉
Veggie deluxe Christmas menu
The be-all and end-all of a sustainable Christmas dinner? Naturally plant-based delicacies a la Velivery! How about a hearty chestnut nut roast or a creamy cashew cheesecake for dessert? Producing plant-based foods uses fewer resources and releases fewer greenhouse gases. This means that your Christmas feast is not only delicious, but also climate-friendly and a certain ‘roast’ can enjoy a longer life. So Merry Christmas to all our animal friends too!
We also have an international suggestion for you when it comes to table decorations. Mexico, especially the city of Juarez, celebrates the Night of the Radish on 23 December. Christmas figures and scenes are created from flowers, fruit and vegetables, for example carved from radishes. That is certainly something different from tinsel and honey wax?
No stress – it’s Christmas
Consumption is often stressful. The shops are overcrowded, and the queues are long when you reach the till. Sustainable Christmas is possible in many ways. Be it the Christmas tree in a pot or its synthetic relatives, be it the re- and upcycling of packaging for virtual gifts or the plant-based Christmas feast.
What remains very important in all of this: don’t forget yourself in the process. The Christmas season can (and should) be a time of sustainable relaxation for all of us. Just a little less consumption and stress and more time for yourself and your family. A warm mulled wine or (children’s) punch with your loved ones should always be possible, shouldn’t it? And a little free time to think about what is really important. So that the spirit of Christmas stays true.
Sense and contemplation
It starts with me thinking about meaning. The meaning of Christmas. Also, about meaningful gifts and about what could bring joy to the other person. If you are interested in sustainable vegan gifts, you can find great gift vouchers at Velivery, but also sweets “without regret” or equally noble and vegan wines.
Time spent together can again be a chance for real communication. Perhaps it is even possible to feel something of the peaceful spirit of this celebration?
After so much thought about sustainability, we want to put things into perspective …
12 tips for a green Christmas
- DIY gifts: Homemade is always better – because it’s more personal. And it’s fun!
- Digital gifts: books, music, subscriptions – anything that doesn’t need a physical space.
- Recycled decor: Old Christmas cards, glitter and a little creativity can work wonders. Add beautiful fir or pinecones from outside for that natural icing on the cake.
- Use lights sparingly: Timers are the energy saver’s best friend.
5. Use green electricity: For that warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart.
6. Think and shop local: Support your community and save on transport costs!
7. More green(s) on the plate: Plant-based alternatives are tasty and environmentally friendly.
8. Our book tip for this: Easy Vegan Christmas.
9. By the way: we also stock vegan festive wine and mulled wine.
10. No disposable products: No to plastic crockery and cutlery! Especially not for the festive season, we think.
11. Reusable packaging: Think of all the trees you can save!
12. Give the gift of time: A walk together or a handwritten letter are often the most valuable gifts.
With these tips, we wish you a merry, fun and green Christmas! And write to us if you have any great ideas yourself on how to make Christmas as green as it is festive.