Christmas is here, and that means joy, family, friends… and massive consumption of things we don´t really need. Every year, this consumption trend turns into a new concept, a sustainable Christmas concept, with just a few easy gestures and habits that make a difference. From how to use the oven to say goodbye to plastic bags, we give you some pieces of advice about how to embrace sustainability during the Christmas days.
Optimise the use of your home appliances
An ecological Christmas does not mean you can only eat soy sprouts on Christmas Eve. But you definitely can try to optimise other things like your energy consumption. Use the residual heat of the oven to finish your dishes and keep others warm. You can also cook several dishes at the same time, better if your oven is big inside. On the other hand, if you have modern appliances, they will optimise energy in general terms. If they are old, perhaps it is time to ask Santa for something new, because you will probably notice this means paying less on your energy bill, and our planet will thank you.
Cooking during daylight
Try to cook with the sunlight, if there is any, so you don’t need to turn on the kitchen’s lights. You can prepare all the food during the Christmas week or on Sunday morning, as you do with Batch cookings. And you can also just prepare most of the recipes and finish them on Christmas Eve. This will also improve the classical Christmas stress and anxiety.
Buy what you really need
We all eat with our eyes first, so it is almost inevitable that we buy things we are not going to eat eventually. Buying more food than you need on Christmas time can be a loop you mean to stop every single year but you can’t help to do it over and over again. Try to buy local food most of the time, and don’t buy large quantities—many times you cannot even store them in the freezer.
However, if you have loads of food after a Christmas lunch or dinner, it is time to store it right. The Christmas leftovers can save many lunches. Freeze the dishes properly, or just use the ingredients of your delicious leftovers to create new recipes for the following days.
Recycle and choose DIY Christmas decor
Try to use the Christmas decorations for as many years as you can. Another option: make your own ornaments to have something new and different and give a second life to many things. Everything you can recycle is welcome.
Gifts: how, what, and where
Even though we will always invite everybody to create house-made gifts, the usual thing is to buy them. But we can do it better too: choose products from small shops, better homemade presents. If they are nearby your home and you can just reach the shops by walking, then high-five. You will save money and reduce your carbon footprint. It is that or going out five times in your car and going straight to a traffic jam to get the gifts, so we all understand you’d rather prefer the first choice. If you don’t want to do it for the planet, do it for your mental health.
Talking about clothing, make sure you are buying “clean clothes.” In other words, the workers who make the clothes have a fair salary and working conditions, and the materials are organic and even ecological. It is worth giving small things or just one good piece of cloth to make this possible. There are many NGO sellers of Christmas presents who keep these conditions, and they are not expensive.
An easy gesture for our sustainable Christmas. Tattoo the sentence “no, I don’t need a bag, thanks” in your brain. Whatever you need to buy, please reuse the 50 bags you probably have at home. Tote bags, paper, raffia fibre bags… even plastic ones so use them as many times as you can. Always have a compact bag with you, in one of your pockets or in the car.
Enjoying a sustainable and good for the planet Christmas is possible with just a few changes. You just need to add these tips to your daily activities to save energy and give a hand to Earth. And you will become the best example to follow for future generations, whether you have children or not. We wish you a merry Christmas, plenty of joy and health Christmas and a happy 2023.