For many people, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. We enjoy ourselves, relax and celebrate with others. Yet every German produces a particularly high amount of CO2 during these days - on average around 338 kilograms. We have therefore put together 5 easy-to-implement ideas for a more environmentally and climate-friendly Christmas:
1. Climate-friendly gift shopping
Studies prove that shopping online is often more climate-friendly than traditional retail. So be sure to order your gifts bundled instead of driving to the next city. However, due to the nationwide lockdown, this alternative is currently no option anyway.
When shopping, keep your eyes open for climate-friendly online retailers. More and more online stores are offering a climate contribution to offset the CO2 emissions of your order. In addition to a climate contribution, it also makes sense to choose climate-neutral shipping, which many shipping service providers, such as DHL, offer. Finally, you should also be sure that your gift is just right for the recipient to avoid unnecessary returns (and disappointment on Christmas Eve). Therefore: Think first, then give.
2. Recycled gift paper
From shopping to wrapping! Here, too, sustainable alternatives make it easier for us to protect our planet. It's best to avoid the traditional wrapping paper and to use newspaper, dish towels or sew reusable gift bags.
You might even be able to do without additional decorations and tape altogether. Here, as so often, creativity counts.
If you can't do without wrapping paper at all, you should at least use FSC-certified recycled paper, since it comes from responsible forestry that conserves resources. Nevertheless, this wrapping paper variant is not really sustainable.
3. The Christmas tree
In Germany, about 30 million Christmas trees are bought every year. The majority of these come from plantations that are sprayed with pesticides. With such huge monocultures comes an enormous burden on water, soil, and wildlife. Somewhat better in this regard are eco-Christmas trees that come from the region.
Buying a tree in a pot sounds like a good idea at first, since you can theoretically replant it after Christmas. However, this is a very complicated undertaking and accordingly requires plenty of flair in the green thumb.
Ultimately, the most climate-friendly option is to do without a Christmas tree altogether or simply make your own reusable DIY tree, e.g. from woods and branches.
You can find inspiration for this on Pinterest: https://bit.ly/3mzUu5z
4. Energy-saving Christmas lighting
To light up in a climate-friendly way this year, you should go for LED fairy lights for your Christmas lighting. These are significantly more energy-efficient than conventional light sources. In comparison, they can save up to 80 percent of electricity.
Also, avoid energy guzzlers such as light tubes and make sure to turn off the lights overnight. This saves energy and money.
5. Cut down on meat
Vegetarian and vegan dishes are not only very trendy, but they are also healthier for the climate, as they cause significantly less CO2. Meat consumption is one of the main causes of deforestation of the global rainforest and produces massive amounts of greenhouse gases. On average, one kilogram of beef leaves behind about 13.3 kg of CO2. The same amount of tofu, by comparison, only emits 1.6 kg.
Also, try to plan realistically when shopping for your holiday meals to keep food waste to a minimum.
With these ideas and alternatives, you can go green this year and enjoy the holidays without losing your joy. We at Yook wish you a lot of fun, relaxing days and Merry Christmas.