The Christmas tree shines in the glow of the candles. Underneath, the presents sparkle and the smell of roasting fowl emanates from the kitchen ... At first glance, pure festive idyll.But at Christmas in particular, all that glitters is not gold. At least not for the environment! The sad result of our favourite family celebration: felled trees, emptied department stores and masses of rubbish.
Consumption that we can no longer afford because it consumes too many resources. So should we consequently skip Christmas? Never. We prefer to give simple tips for a more sustainable Christmas. Even the Christ Child will be green around the ears!
Oh Christmas tree!Raised in monocultures, grown with sprays and then carted over from Scandinavia or Poland. That is the fate of the vast majority of Christmas trees. The tree from the forest next door is much more environmentally friendly.
You can contact your local forester and ask sellers about the origin of the trees on offer. Look for organic, Naturland or FSC labels. The Mainz-based start-up Weihnachtsbaumfreunde offers trees in pots with a delivery service.
Decorate naturallyCones, branches, nuts, apples, straw - that's all you need for a cosy Christmas decoration on the tree or on the window sill. For centuries, people have celebrated the festival of love in harmony with nature. Now, simple and natural interior design is back in fashion and offers a pleasant contrast to the usual "bling-bling" with loads of plastic.
Of course, candles are a must for an atmospheric ambience. Great if they are made of natural materials such as stearin (vegetable/animal fat) or beeswax. Candles made of palm oil or paraffin (petroleum) have a worse environmental balance. If you want to hang a string of lights, make sure it's an energy-saving one with LED lights and a timer.
Sustainability GivingIt is clear to everyone over the age of twelve that the holidays are not about consumption. But for many, giving nothing at all is not a solution either. Somehow you want to show your loved ones that they are important to you. We recommend giving time instead of things. For example, are you great at cleaning windows, reading aloud, descaling taps, mixing cocktails? Such gestures are wonderful gifts! Or you can make something yourself. Don't worry, anyone can do it. The crocheted scarf or syrup doesn't have to be perfect either, that's what makes homemade so charming.
Upgrade: Instead of wrapping paper, you can present your gifts in reusable boxes, jars or cloths.
Christmas feast with a good feeling
Whether it's pasta, goose or sausages on the table before Christmas - if possible, treat yourself to organic ingredients and buy locally. This is especially true for meat and fish. Discount goods often have a short, painful life behind them. Supporting this is not very Christmassy.
Commitment instead of the Caribbean
Escape the Christmas hustle and bustle by travelling far away? Bad idea. All right, you'll save on the Christmas tree, presents and fairy lights, but the CO2 emissions are far more damaging to the environment. So, if you're a Christmas grump and wonder where you can escape to on Christmas Eve, why not offer your help to other people? There are many charities where you can help out. You're doing a good thing and enabling them to have a Christmas at home.