5 tips for an eco-friendly Christmas
After a particularly challenging year we all want to leave our worries behind - good thing that Christmas is just around the corner! The gifts are being wrapped everywhere and the tinsel is being fetched from the attic. All old traditions which are just a part of it, like the candles on the Christmas tree. Mother earth would like to thank anyone who, despite all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, has enough time to think about the environment. We at NEUBAU EYEWEAR always aim to find more sustainable ways for our daily lives. This also counts for our Christmas preparations. We collected some tips for an eco-friendly Christmas!
Nature vs. Plastic — the Christmas tree dilemma
The classic Christmas tree grows up in monoculture, wraps itself in pesticides or travels from abroad — all of this is harmful to our environment and health. You still don’t want to forego the tradition of the Christmas tree? The first question you have to ask yourself is: plastic or natural? This is often a decision of principle. But as far as environmental protection is concerned, natural trees are still the better option, even if advocates of the artificial fir tree keep coming up with new arguments against the cultivation, deforestation and short lifespan of real Christmas trees. Nevertheless, despite long transport routes and complex cooling, real trees have less impact on the environment than plastic trees, which are largely imported from far away and which sooner or later end up in the garbage can. Trees from local and organic cultivation have the best ecological balance. Even better: a tree in a pot that can be planted afterwards or given back so they can be planted in again as well.
Reused wrapping paper
Recyclable wrapping paper has many faces: for example, you can repurpose an old t‑shirt, use the daily newspaper or old cardboard boxes for packaging and even learn special wrapping techniques without the use of any tape. As a cherry on top, you can use old cinnamon stars or cloves as decoration. This doesn’t only look homemade and loving, but also avoids additional mountains of rubbish!
Rather economical Christmas lights
Fairy lights and luminous figures are simply part of Christmas. But they should really only light up when we actively see them. Don’t hesitate to pull the plug at night, because neither you nor your neighbors will see the beautiful lighting. To save electricity, you can use string lights with LEDs. They are also available in beautiful warm light colors. Last but not least: treat the environment and the animals to the nocturnal darkness!
Green Gifts — sustainable presents for your loved ones
Reusable water bottles
Why buy expensive water that produces unnecessary CO2 and travels long transport routes? Surely there are better alternatives? Yeah sure! Drink tap water if possible! And in order to be able to transport it and to fill drinking water, a tasteless and leak-proof drinking bottle is the best solution. In addition plastic bottles enter microplastics into our organism – a nightmare which can easily be avoided.
From old to new! Upcycling breathes new life into used and old objects. This often results in special and unique items with eye-catching potential. They are homemade and come from the heart. The best thing about them? Upcycled gifts are resource-saving and support small, often local craft workshops.
Bio box voucher
An organic vegetable basket — also known as an eco box or harvest box — supports regional and ecological agriculture. Transport routes remain short and as a small side effect, city dwellers get to know the seasonal fruit and vegetable calendar better.
A 1 kg pack of soap nuts will last a full 6 months if washed 3 to 4 times a week. The nuts make the laundry soft without fabric softener and only heavily soiled laundry should be pretreated with organic gall soap. The soap nuts are 100% ecological as they are compostable and a real alternative for those with a detergent allergy.
Gift a tree
Planting trees helps bees and other insects to survive. There are many companies and charities that offer tree planting, which offsets the CO2 consumption and does good for our environment and air quality.
Families with younger children can provide more sustainability by making sure that the toy is made from certified real wood. There are now wooden toys at lower prices in many shops. You don’t always have to dig deeper into your pocket.
Gift voucher for an unpackaged shop
Unpacked and plastic-free: packaging-free shopping is now possible in many cities. As a sustainable gift, you can ask for a shopping voucher in unpackaged shops in your region. The best thing about it? You support small and local businesses!
Tinsel — No thanks.
Leaded tinsel is still found in some households. The problem: when disposing the Christmas tree, some threads of the tree decorations still get stuck and end up in the compost, from where they are released into the environment and therefore adding to the pollution of our planet. Lead-containing tinsel should be disposed of as hazardous waste. A traditional tree with wooden and glass pendants, straw stars, nuts and home-made Christmas tree decorations can look just as great as a glittering tinsel while being less harmful to the planet and can be re-used the next year.