I don't find it easy to live eco-friendly (I do think it's fun!), and it's especially challenging during the Christmas holidays. Why? Since the start of November I’ve felt bombarded left and right with messages to BUY STUFF. So I want to share some tricks I use to get through X-Mas unburdened and free of stuff I don’t need.
1. Christmas tree
I don’t have a Christmas tree. Instead, I just decorate the palm tree in my apartment. I strongly advise against buying a pine tree just to throw it away after only a couple of weeks use. In January of last year, I saw plenty of beautiful, discarded pine trees on the streets. This time, I hope we go into 2019 being less wasteful with nature’s gifts. If you really wish to have a pine tree, my advice is to plant one in your garden and take care of it all year round.
If you don’t have a garden, ask your family or friends if they have a spare plastic Christmas tree. Plastic Christmas trees are usually not quickly thrown away, and passed down to family members. In my parents’ house, we’ve been using the same plastic tree for about ten years. Every time I see it, it brings back joyful memories from last years. It is much more meaningful than buying a new one.
If you’re feeling creative, you can create one yourself. It can be very easy, and the results are rewarding. Here is some DIY inspiration for you:
2. Christmas decoration
Christmas decoration can be very diverse and applied pretty much everywhere in your living space. Have fun experimenting and try decorating something other than your tree. You also don’t have to stick to glittery, plastic balls for decorating. Here is some inspiration to make your home a cosy winter haven:
3. X-Mas Presents
Some may say presents are the highlight of Christmas Eve! Do you also get that feeling of excitement when you finally rip open the present with your name scribbled on it and get something you hoped for? For me it has always been like this. This year is a bit different though. I realized I already have too much stuff, so instead I would like to get rid of some. That’s why I’m happy that, this year, my family decided to do a game called Secret Santa.
What’s Secret Santa? We will gather with about 25 family members but instead of receiving 25 presents from each one, we will receive just 1 from our Secret Santa. The best part: I don’t know who will give me a present, so I have no clue what the present will be. We used this website Secret Santa Organizer. The only thing you need to do is put in the names of all the participants and their e-mail addresses. Then Secret Santa Organizer will automatically send every participant a confidential message with the name of the person he/she needs to give a present to. Less is more!
Instead of a last-minute run to browse through several stores, clueless, in the holiday madness, think about items that you already have at home but never used. We all have new items in our houses that are just taking up space. Re-gifting is sometimes frowned upon in our society, but undeservedly so in my opinion. Is a hastily bought gift at the store really that much more thoughtful than an item you hope someone else can find a better use for?
Another idea is to do it yourself. I personally believe that the best presents are the ones which are made with time and love, and which are useful. Here you can find some inspiration.
Instead of gifting a material item, gift a coupon to a workshop or first time experience. Instead of sending your family and friends to a get-away with a Bongo bon, why not encourage them to try something more creative like the Eco Lifestyle Tour or Alma Sana workshop? You can enjoy the gift together by joining and enjoying an afternoon together.
4. Christmas outfit
Don’t we love to wear something new for every special occasion? It marks a new beginning, new opportunities, an improved “me”. What about wearing something new, without having to buy it? Sounds just like a win-win to me!
So here are some options:
Take the outfit you worn last year. I bet you only wore it once or twice this year, so it’s still new. Think about how to style your outfit differently this year: match it with other pieces, other shoes, other accessories, have a different hairdo and make-up.
Call a sister/brother/friend who is about your same size and ask her/him to do a clothing trade. Efficient and fun!
You might be thinking: “I will just wear the same thing as last year”, and that’s just perfect too.
5. Christmas Eve dinner
This year, I will celebrate Christmas with my Spanish-Argentinian family. This unavoidably means…lots and lots of meat on the menu. However, since more of my family members are turning vegetarian, there will thankfully be a vegetarian option as well. According to the latest research, the most ecological way to produce foods consists of a combination of vegetarian and carnivore food. So I will do my part to enjoy the dinner with that in mind.
If you can weigh in on the choice of menu, think about the newly published food triangle. Try to incorporate as much plant-based ingredients as possible, and reduce, as much as possible, meat and fish. Don’t forget to use the food rests the day after.
Have a lovely X-Mas night!
More ecological inspiration and tips & tricks:
Mixua believes that everyone can make a positive impact. That is why we want to inspire you on the way to a more ecological lifestyle. We do this through various activities such as the Eco Tours, online workshops and online discovery guide.