22 Tips For A Sustainable Christmas

22 Tips For A Sustainable Christmas - Scandinavian From ...


Christmas is the time of year when we get together with family and loved ones, give each other gifts and share hearty (and excessive) lunches and dinners. For many, it is an endearing time and the perfect excuse to meet people they haven’t seen for a while. Regardless of this, the truth is that Christmas, in most cases, is a somewhat consumerist date in which we spend and waste more than necessary.

At a time when we find ourselves immersed in an urgent climate crisis, which requires us to act and begin to change certain habits and customs, starting with Christmas can be a good start. We assure you that it is not something as dramatic as it may seem at first.

Contrary to what many people think, introducing more ecological habits into our lifestyle does not usually imply huge sacrifices or great sacrifices. There are many small things that we can do with little effort but they are great gifts for the planet. And, in addition, many of them are fun, for example, making our homemade decorations from reused materials and spending little money. It is a very fun activity that the whole family can do and the result will be a house with personalized and original decoration. Start now to save glass jars of preserves. With them, you can make candle holders and even decorations by filling them with Christmas figurines, Nativity scenes, dried flowers, pineapples, twigs… Let your imagination run wild!

Christmas is for many synonymous with throwing the house out the window. Gifts, decorations, expensive and exotic delicacies, trips. The average Christmas expenditure per household will be 631 dollars this year, according to a study by the consulting firm Deloitte. This is 14% more than the expenditure recorded in 2019 -554 dollars per household- together before the start of the pandemic. But is so much spending sustainable with our pocket and with the planet?

Tree, Christmas Decoration, And Sustainable Gifts

1. Put up an alternative Christmas tree. You don’t have to buy a plastic one, nor do you have to sacrifice natural fir. Give the coconut and create your own sustainable Christmas tree, with loose branches or other recycled elements.

2. Make your sustainable decorations. Take advantage of elements from other Christmases or join the DIY and create your own Christmas decorations in an environmentally friendly way.

3. Create an eco advent calendar. Surprise your loved ones by creating a sustainable advent calendar with small gifts to discover until Christmas. You can make it with cloth bags or paper packets and natural elements. Or create it online with photos and personalized messages.

4. Wrap your gifts with eco wrapping. Take advantage of the paper you have at home to pack your gifts. Remember that wrapping paper is only used for a few minutes and, on the other hand, has a high environmental cost for our forests.

5. Make useful and sustainable gifts. This Christmas, instead of giving the typical gifts, why not try something more sustainable, such as an ecological product or an experience that does not generate waste?

Shop And Cook Responsibly

6. Christmas menu low in C02. Think of the food you are going to eat at Christmas has traveled more than 100 km. Better, buy Km0 products. Thus, you support the local economy and guarantee more sustainable consumption.

7. Avoid wasting food. Producing food requires a lot of effort and resources. Let’s try not to waste food. If there is any leftover, bring out the chef in all of us. Invent a new dish and recycle.

8. Make good use of the oven. If you cook your Christmas dishes in the oven, take the opportunity to make several preparations at the same time. You will save money and energy.

9. Less consumption and more responsible. When you make a purchase, preferably choose ecological products or sustainable materials or processes. And if they are from km0, much better, to support the local economy and commerce.

10. Gala, but sustainable. For dinners and party meals, recycle an outfit from another Christmas, exchange clothes with a family member or friend, or look for vintage clothes in second-hand stores.

Practice Energy Efficiency

11. Sign up to save water. These holidays propose not to waste water, limiting your spending. Put aerators on the faucets, avoid pre-washes or shorten showers and you will give the planet and your water bill a gift.

12. Use the eco mode of your appliances. With the washing machine, the dishwasher, or the dryer. The result will be the same and you will save resources, such as water or energy.

13. Switch to renewable energy. Choose a responsible electricity company that cares about savings and the environment and that offers you 100% renewable energy, such as Escandinava de Electricidad.

14. Energy-saving Christmas lighting. Bet on LED bulbs. They are more durable and their consumption is much lower than that of conventional light bulbs.

15. Save energy. During the celebrations, there is no reason to waste electricity at home. Even if you have guests, don’t leave all the lights on. Turn off and save.

16. Keep the thermostat in check. With the heating, watch that the thermostat does not exceed 23. It is not necessary to wear short sleeves around the house, to be warm.

Reduce, Recycle And Reuse Also At Christmas

17. Take your bags to the supermarket. Go shopping with your reusable bags and avoid abusing plastic ones.

18. Don’t forget to recycle. If you haven’t separated your waste yet, it’s a good time to start. Get yourself a suitable container and start recycling.

19. Avoid single-use plastic. Take out the usual crockery, cutlery, and glassware, and forget about disposable plates, forks, and glasses.

20. Send an email to Santa Claus or the Three Wise Men. This year, it replaces the traditional paper letter for the little ones with an email. It will reach them the same and, thus, you do not waste paper.

These Holidays Reconnect With Nature

21. Fill your life with green. Put plants in your house or set up an urban garden on your balcony and enjoy the feeling of growing your vegetables.

22. Get out in nature. This Christmas, be original and organize a field trip with your family or friends. Why not also take advantage of keeping the environment clean, picking up the rubbish you find along the way?

Bonus Ideas For A Greener Christmas

  • Another idea, this one more focused on gifts, is to give handcrafted objects, from nearby businesses, and neighborhood stores, that are made with recycled materials… This way you will be favoring a more sustainable consumption. And how about giving experiences like a relaxing massage, a spa session or a meal in a special restaurant? Maybe that person already has everything and with something like that, you surprise them.
  • In addition to our initial advice to make them at home (you can find a large number of manuals and videos with all kinds of ideas on the internet), you can also paint or cover the old decorations to give them a new look every year.
  • Consuming with a head is good for your pocket and the planet. There are many toys made with more sustainable and durable materials, with rechargeable batteries instead of batteries and that stimulate the creativity of the little ones. Buying from nearby businesses or local artisans is a way of supporting a sector that is suffering greatly from this crisis and we avoid extra CO2 emissions in transport. Make non-tangible gifts, for example, tickets for the cinema and the theater and even seeds to have melliferous plants because they are ornamental and of undoubted beauty, they also contribute to the feeding of a large number of pollinating insects, including bees. And, of course, try to keep the packaging modest and, if possible, reuse the wrapping paper or create your personalized one with old papers or newspapers.
  • Artificial trees are made with PVC, a material that, in addition to being manufactured in a very polluting process, is usually transported from very distant points, with the corresponding CO2 emissions. In many nurseries with controlled production, natural trees are grown (and better if they are native) that trap CO2 during their life. After the festivities, they must be returned to the town hall’s collection service so that those that are still alive can be replanted or composted. Another option is to make a homemade tree with recycled material or even decorate a large indoor plant with balls and tinsel.
  • Don’t buy a new one every year: you can complete it with new figures or change its layout so as not to get bored. It can also be made with recycled material or include elements such as snow (with flour), a river (with reused silver paper), or areas of sand. Watch out for the moss! No picking it up in the field, it is protected and can only be purchased at authorized nurseries.
  • Don’t have the lights on all day, reserve them for special and specific moments. The lights are better if they are LED since they consume less.
  • Use washable cloth tablecloths and napkins and the usual cutlery: with the proper precautions, they are safe. For example, you can put stickers or colored labels so that each diner has theirs perfectly located. Better to avoid shared food sources.
  • A classic situation of Christmas dinners is that almost always much more food is prepared than is going to be consumed, and much of it ends up in the garbage. Make a reasonable menu, prepare a list so as not to buy more than necessary, and, if there is leftover food, salt it in the following days to make new recipes. Christmas food and sweets, it is better that they are ecological and local.
  • First choose the microwave, then the pressure cooker, and finally the oven, you will save between 60-70% energy and time if you choose the first or the last. Do not open the oven while it is in operation or you will lose more than 20% of the accumulated energy try to cook several foods at the same time, remember to turn it off before the end of cooking to take advantage of the residual heat.
  • Do not keep the fridge open for too long and wait for the food to cool completely before putting it away. If you have a dishwasher, leave it whenever it is full and choose short, ecological programs that save water and energy.
  • Save decorations and wrapping paper for other occasions, give a new life to old clothes and toys or make donations and, what cannot be reused, dispose of it in its corresponding recycling container or take it to the recycling point in the case of luminous garlands or appliances. irreparable electronics.
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