Everything You Need to Know for a Sustainable Christmas
I’m dreaming of a … Green Christmas. Aren’t you? Holidays shouldn't be a time that you have to worry about the lists of gifts you need to buy, the huge dinner you need to prepare or the in-laws coming to town (yikes). You only have one job this year: stay fabulous and stay sustainable.
The first part is easy, and of course, Aequem has you covered for the second. We’ve pulled out all the bells and whistles to make sure your Christmas is as sustainable as it is jolly, as festive as it is eco-friendly and as fun as it is conscious. It’ll be the most magical Christmas yet.
Let’s start where it matters: travel. It’s always important to keep in mind what your actions are emitting, even when it’s something we don’t think twice about. Of course we travel for the holidays! However, cars, planes and trains come at a price to the environment. This year, use more eco-friendly ways of getting around like walking, cycling or carpooling to all your Christmas events. Emissions are important- don’t let it turn your holiday into holiday pollution-blues. Travel with an eco-mindset! Or, snuggle up and stay home. The holidays are meant for relaxing, no?
Christmas is a time to kick-back, relax and enjoy a nice drink. A nice, organic drink that is. Try one of these seasonal, sustainable cocktails at any Christmas event this year to keep the party going and your guests wanting more:
Gingerbread Ale: muddle one small piece of fresh ginger in a mix of apple, pear and lime juice. Shake with ice and strain into a high-ball glass filled with ice. Top with ginger ale and stir. Garnish with seasonal toppings like apple fan and a thin slice of ginger. Et voila!
Cranberry Crush: combine sugar, water, cranberries and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently. Cook until the cranberries soften then mash. Let cool. In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle cranberries, ginger and cranberry syrup. Fill a shaker with ice. Ad bitters, gin, amaro and lime. Shake well then chill. Strain into a cocktail glass, top with a splash of tonic, whole cranberries and a lime twist. Enjoy.
Hot Buttered Rum: combine cloves, allspice, cinnamon and sugar in a punch mug. Add boiling water to fill it. Let stand for 5 minutes then add rum and butter. Dust with nutmeg and serve!
The Gift of a Gimlet: muddle cucumber and ginger with gin, add fresh lime juice, a handful of fresh wheatgrass and your favorite fruit juice. Shake well. Strain and serve into a chilled coupe glass with a thin slice of fresh ginger for all your guests to enjoy.
Or, when in doubt, stick to the classics! Pull out a bottle of organic mulled wine, top it with cinnamon and enjoy!
An eco-twist on a holiday classic- get crackin’ in sustainable style. Craft your crackers this year from recycled card. Instead of a small plastic gift inside, leave eco-messages of fun ways kids and adults can better the environment. Or add facts! It may seem lame, but we promise it’s a fun way to encourage eco-practice. Master the art of the cracker!
If you’re feeling especially sustainable, make your cracker out of seed paper. This is an amazing way you can enjoy the holiday festivities instead of piling up the waste. You can actually plant the used paper and enjoy beautiful flowers in your garden that will forever remind you of an incredible Christmas.
Ah yes, the show-stopper on Christmas- your tree. If all eyes are on it, we need to make it sustainable.
A lot of Christmas trees we use each year are drenched in pesticides, scavenged out of the Earth, thrown in the trash and completely abused of all love. How awful! This Christmas, try renting a Christmas tree. Yes, rent! Many organizations offer the option to rent a tree that can be replanted after the holidays. These amazing trees are grown in special pots complete with their roots, which allows them to be taken out, enjoyed and then put right back where they belong after the holidays. No harm done and the Earth is left exactly the way we found it. You can even opt to grow your very own tree! This way you’re adding more love the environment and more natural cheer to your home.
Most importantly, and above all, follow the golden rule: avoid plastic. You may think you are doing a service to the Earth by not ripping out trees, but plastic trees actually sit in landfills year after year without decomposing since they are both non-recyclable and non-biodegradable. That’s a huge dent in the environment for sure.
Time to go au-natural. Instead of investing in what will ultimately be a ton of plastic evading your home, choose to naturally decorate this Christmas with items straight from the source- the Earth! For ornaments, use pinecones, cinnamon sticks, leaves or even cookies to decorate your tree. Wrap fresh garland around your home and dry out fruits for dining decoration. Even bark and sticks can be crafted into beautiful displays! Use your imagination.
To light up your home and spread cheer in the neighborhood, do it the green way by purchasing LED Christmas lights. These lights save over 90% of power costs. How incredible! You even have the option to put a timer on your lights so when the entire town is asleep, your energy use can sleep as well.
We know that a ton of thought is definitely not put into the paper that is ripped and shredded in seconds by everyone on Christmas, but we need to pay attention to what happens to that paper afterwards. Where does it go? Wait, is it sustainable?
A lot of wrapping paper is glossy, metallic horror. Stay away, far away. Instead, use newspapers, maps, old book pages or anything other interesting paper to wrap your presents. You can even buy sustainable bags so your loved ones can keep using it in the future for grocery and travel! It’s two gifts in one. The gift is now and the disposables are forever- be smart!
As for what’s inside the sustainable packaging, we are all dying to know- what’s wrapped up under my tree this year? Well, hopefully something eco-friendly. Homemade goods like pottery, paintings, baked goods or even mended clothes are all incredible ways to incorporate newness into a sustainable Christmas. Or, buy someone the gift of green! A bicycle, energy saving item or membership to a local organic farm are all perfect, eco-friendly ways of giving. You can even choose to make your gift an activity instead of an item so that there is no waste and an everlasting memory. Choose to shape someone’s life rather than adding to their waste.
Full hearts and full bellies deserve to be filled with sustainable goodness. That is why we are telling you to go absolutely vegan this year for Christmas dinner. Yes, vegan Christmas! It’s not as scary as it sounds, especially if you come to us for help.
First, set your menus for an exact amount of guests. This avoids cases of overordering and overcooking. A precise amount of ingredients means no leftover waste to throw away. However, if you do have leftovers, because we are all human and make mistakes, make sure to give that extra food to the homeless. They deserve a Christmas dinner too. Next, buy all you food from local farmers markets. This way all your food is fresh, organic and absolutely delicious. What’re we cooking? Vegan of course! Follow our incredible vegan guide complete with recipes and tips that will make your meal unforgettable. And that’s it! How easy.
Now that your entire Christmas has been sorted, take a minute to think about what this holiday truly means to you and your family. It’s all about the love! Relax, unwind and enjoy one another’s company. It’s what makes our Christmas’ so sweet.
However, we wouldn’t be Aequem if we didn’t say to give it an eco-friendly twist. So, this Christmas, try an activity that spreads the love to family, friends and the Earth. Go on a walk around town and enjoy all of the Christmas markets that have been set up. Decorate a tree for the birds outside, then take some natural ingredients from the environment and decorate a sustainable tree of your own. Restore the Earth a little bit and give back. Volunteer in your neighborhood for a nature conservancy or cleanup organization to make sure Christmas is celebrated the right way. Above all, prioritize making better choice rather than choosing to be rushed.
Have a very merry, sustainable Christmas. With love from London, we are sending you all the Christmas joy in the world. Now let's celebrate!