Sustainable Holidays

| By Gizem Bulut

Are you struggling to be sustainable over the holidays? No matter if you are trying to reduce waste or just want to get creative over the holiday season, we have compiled a few tips to help you make your Christmas more environmentally friendly this year.

Festive decoration

There is a temptation to buy decorative elements because the city centers are full of Christmas decorations. But if we're honest, there are still boxes full of Christmas decorations somewhere in the basement or attic. So, here are a few ideas to help you get your home festive without buying new products:   

Reuse old decorations from previous years. It's worth trying to find a way to reuse some decorations that have been around for several years. If they are outdated, you could get crafty and try to DIY them! Use natural decorations like pinecones, acorns, and branches you can collect during your next walk in the woods!   

Make garlands out of twine wrapped around branches and twigs from outside – these are lovely replacements for ribbons on traditional Christmas trees and are fun to make!   


Sustainable gift-wrapping  

Wrapping gifts is a big part of the holiday season. Can you wrap your gifts in a more sustainable way? Yes, you can! Often, wrapping paper is thrown away only a few minutes after gift-giving. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make your gifts look beautiful without needing wrapping paper.   

Reusable is more sustainable than disposable - provided the items are used over and over again. For example, using gift bags that once were gifted to you is a way of reusing packaging. Additionally, old wrapping paper can used again. Just carefully tear and iron the wrapping paper and use again when needed. You might also consider making a reusable gift wrap out of old fabric scraps and other materials like old newspaper or calendar pages to wrap your presents! Some might think that gifts wrapped in newspaper or that eco-looking brown paper look ugly. That is not the case when decorative elements upgrade plain lookin presents! If you're not using colorful wrapping paper, that little decorative touch often has to come from somewhere else. Pine cones and twigs quickly brighten up a wrapped gift. But what about the actual present inside of the wrapping paper? Is there a way to gift more sustainably? The answer is: Yes!  


Sustainable presents

The joy of material objects quickly wears off, but memories of events often last a long time. What about gifting spending time together rather than a product? The best thing about gifting an experience is that you're somehow also giving yourself a present at the same time. Another idea is giving donations to organizations in the name of the recipient.  


If you still want to send a material present consider a useful item that is sustainable by buying products that are durable, useful, and needed. Plants are pretty and good for the indoor climate, but beware - not everyone has a green thumb! In case of doubt, offer a low-maintenance plant.  It is even more sustainable if you gift a second-hand item. Those save resources since they are already produced and would otherwise get thrown away. Toys, for instance, will be irrelevant for children within a few years. Consider gifting durable (e. g. wooden) second-hand toys that can be donated or sold again as soon as they are not needed anymore.  


We hope to have given you inspiration to make this year's Christmas more sustainable!