In mid-October, the Christmas lights and decorations made an appearance in shop windows by the while it was still 23 degrees Celsius outside (#climatechange) and it’s no secret the holiday season has become fully part of a rush for consumption as big as Black Friday. At Allure Sauvage, we think it is a shame we’ve come this way, but with a little effort and imagination, Christmas does not have to be a burden on the planet.
Here are a few tips to a more Sustainable Christmas.
As pretty as they might be, Christmas lights aren’t that sustainable. If you do want to have some, try to reduce the amount and choose battery-free LEDs, which consume less electricity. You can also use automatic timers so the lights, both indoor and outdoor, so the lights turn on and off automatically – say from 5pm to 22pm, as to also not disturb the wildlife and your neighbor’s sleep.
As for the tree, we encourage you to switch to a reusable Christmas tree, which you will be able to keep years after years!
Even the United Nations’ is saying it: cattle agriculture is producing more greenhouse gases than the automobile industry! Indeed, Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. Although going for a vegan Christmas menu might seem extreme for some, it is what we’ve been doing for the past two years and the first time our guests did not even notice the difference! Indeed, Natacha’s French grandfather loved New Roots’ vegan cheese and was surprised to hear it was made from cashew milk! We replaced meat by soy alternatives and bought all ingredients from the local market and bulk shops such as Chez Mamie.
If you’re not ready to make that jump yet, no worries, we don’t judge. You can try going for a vegetarian dinner or even just buying your ingredients locally and mostly at the farmer’s market, organic whenever possible. That way, you are helping both your local environment and economy (:
Do we really need to buy people things to show them our love? Well, if that’s the case we can definitely find few alternatives to having to buy 54 presents for all your family members, spending enormous amounts of money on people you don’t particularly know or like, and to receive things you will never use. Here are a few tips in making a more valuable gift-exchange:
- Gather with your family and pick one person to give a gift to. That way, you’ll have more budgets for that one gift and will be able to make it very personalized. You can plan this in advance easily with platforms such as SecretSanta.
- Offer experiences rather than material things: lunch spent with you, movie tickets, and for the big budget even weekend getaways.
- Buy from ethical, fairtrade brands. If you really want to get fashion items for your little sister, get her some Reformation. A bag for your big brother? Freitag. And of course, think of our Allure Sauvage accessories!
- Choose conscious presents, from reusable straws to organic cotton make-up remover pads and ecological food wrapping, you’ll find a wide choice of ideas on EarthEasy
- Handmade gifts: if you’ve followed the fashion and gotten into knitting for example, which not offer some handmade knitted scarf?
- You can find or make little gift cards with things written such as “GiftCard to not do the dishes” or “GiftCard to pick the movie”.
- Offer to support a foundation/association under that person’s name. If your mum really likes bees, give the money to a local beekeeper, maybe in exchange for a pot of honey at the end of the season! The Swiss platform VitaVerdura offers, for 100 CHF, three kg of honey and a visit of a bee farm along with its owner. Help save a difficult career, and save the bees!
- For small budgets, you can choose to plant a tree with the money you would have used for a present instead. The organization OneTreePlanted offers the choice of location where you would like the tree planted. You can also choose to plant a tree in honor of that person through ALivingTribute
If you’ve recently joined the zero-waste movement, you’ll have to rethink your Christmas wrapping! We’ve stopped wrapping our gifts and have used tote bags instead. One friend even used a pillow case to wrap her presents, which she took back as soon as the gift was open!
But should you prefer to follow the craze of tarring your wrapping apart, aim for old newspaper which you can later burn in the fire pit – assuming you have one, and if you do not, remember to recycle!
This was our pick for a more Sustainable Christmas, but we encourage you to look further in other blogs and Youtube videos as there are many ideas out there, and find the ones who appeal to you most to make a change!