Can you Christmas without plastic celebrate? Every year it's that time again and Christmas is just around the corner. Unfortunately, the gift and product packaging at Christmas creates a lot of waste.
In this article you will learn everything you need to know about plastic-free Christmas. I'll show you how to find a sustainable Christmas tree, what presents are suitable for the Zero Waste Lifestyle and how you can decorate your home plastic-free. Have fun and a happy holiday!
Here is another short Table of contents about the article:
- Why Christmas without plastic is so important
- Sustainable Christmas tree
- Plastic free Christmas tree decorations
- General decoration
- Plastic free gifts
- Closing words
Why Christmas without plastic is important
Those who try to celebrate plastic-free Christmas are setting an example for a cleaner future. Plastic waste in the environment is today next to the climate change the biggest environmental problem of our time. Birds are choking on garbage, the oceans are full of plastic and we are ingesting microplastics through fish, algae and other marine life. It's important that we start paying more attention to our environment - especially at major holidays like Christmas. At holidays, we humans are especially prone to producing a lot of trash. We tear up wrapping paper and throw away masses of leftover food. It's urgent time for something to change! By celebrating a sustainable Christmas, we can, in the spirit of plastic-free living, set an example against the plastic craze. In addition, we can improve our personal Reduce food waste.
Environmentally friendly Christmas tree
"It's only one tree a year," say 88 million people in Germany every year. Nature suffers from the mass purchase of deforested fir trees - even if the trees are replanted every year. Fortunately, there are some good alternatives to the conventional Christmas tree.
Rent a Christmas tree
A great alternative to the cut down Christmas tree is renting a Christmas tree. This is already possible in large cities such as Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. The trees are brought to your home alive and are also picked up again after Christmas. Over the rest of the year, they are replanted and can be used again and again. Because the Reuse plays an important role in the plastic-free lifestyle.
Replant the tree
Another alternative is the replanting of a living tree. Trees smaller than one meter are suitable for this purpose. If the trees are already larger, the roots are usually damaged when they are dug out, which is why the tree cannot recover sufficiently when it is replanted.
Make a Christmas tree yourself
If you want a truly sustainable Christmas tree, you can build a Christmas tree alternative yourself. This will last a lifetime and can be brought out again every Christmas. I'm going to show you the easiest way to make your own Christmas tree.
- A rope ladder, such as. these* (you can alternatively make a rope ladder yourself from branches and a thick rope).
- A chain of lights
- Christmas tree decorations
- Optional: some fir branches
- Take the rope ladder and attach the string of lights along the rope.
- Cut a piece of string, hang the Christmas tree ornaments on it and tie the whole thing to the pieces of wood in the middle.
- If you want, you can also use some fir tree branches as decoration.
- Ready is the homemade "Christmas tree". The practical: You can use it every year again and the fir forest remains as it is.
Christmas tree processing
If you do want a traditional Christmas tree, you can still be sustainable by reusing the tree after the plastic-free Christmas instead of throwing it away. Here I have listed some ideas on how you can reuse your Christmas tree. Important: In order to reuse your Christmas tree, you should know where it came from. Plants that have been chemically treated should not be reused.
- Cooking fir branches for tea
- Bath salts with fir branches
- Burn the trunk of the tree in the fireplace
- Use as mulch for the garden
Plastic free ornaments for the Christmas tree
Unfortunately, in the classic Christmas tree decorations is a lot of Plastic. If a ball falls down, plastic waste is created directly. So if you want to have a plastic-free Christmas, it's worth looking for alternatives. In the following, I would like to give you a few tips on the way to make your Christmas tree as plastic-free as possible.
Reindeer from tree bark
These reindeer are made of real natural tree bark and are therefore very sustainable. They have a size of seven centimeters. Especially children are happy about this plastic-free Christmas decoration. If you don't want to buy the plastic-free reindeer, you can of course make them yourself from tree bark from the forest.
Otherwise you can get the reindeer from tree bark here*.
Plastic free wooden poinsettias
The poinsettias can be used not only as decoration for the Christmas tree, but also as decoration for the Advent wreath or the plastic free advent calendar. You can also hang them on the front door, for example. Made of wood, the stars are a cool, plastic-free alternative to Christmas.
You can get the wooden poinsettias here*.
Oyster with pearl
Tired of mainstream and want something more exciting for your Christmas tree? If you're looking for unusual Christmas tree decorations, these shells might be something for you. You basically can't get more natural Christmas decorations. The oysters are available in various colors and sizes.
You can get the oysters as Christmas tree ornaments here*.
Make plastic free Christmas tree decorations yourself
Of course, you can also make Christmas tree decorations yourself instead of buying them. A few ideas I present you in the following.
Plastic free Christmas tree decorations from pine cones
Beautiful Christmas tree decorations are already right on your doorstep. With the help of pine cones you can easily make natural Christmas tree decorations without plastic.
- Jute ribbon
- a lighter
- some pine cones.
- Take a pine cone and tie a piece of jute ribbon around it.
- Tie the string and harden the ends with the help of the fire of the lighter.
- Optionally, you can paint the pine cone with paint still white.
Plastic free wax Christmas tree decorations
Decorate your Christmas tree with self-cast wax figures. It may sound a bit unusual, but it's a simple, plastic-free alternative to the classic plastic Christmas tree decorations. Here's how it works:
- Baking tins
- Cooking pot
- Baking paper or similar
- Heat the wax in the saucepan until it is liquid.
- Lay out a piece of baking paper and place the baking cups on it.
- Then pour the liquid wax into the baking cups.
- When the wax is dry, you can poke a hole in the wax figure with a needle. Make sure that the hole is big enough for the string.
- Now you can tie the string into a knot and harden the ends with a lighter.
Sustainable Advent wreath without plastic
Of course, Christmas also includes an Advent wreath. Instead of buying a plastic one in a decoration store, you can easily make the Advent wreath yourself.
- 1 oblong bowl
- 4 screw jars
- 4 large candles
- fresh twigs, pine cones, nuts and other decorations
- Put the candles in the screw jars.
- Take the string and tie it around the glasses.
- Now you can stick fir branches into the string.
- The remaining shell is now decorated with the nuts, pine cones and other natural utensils. Ready is the Advent wreath.
General Christmas decoration without plastic
For a plastic-free Christmas, you should of course also go all out with your Christmas decorations. If you don't want to do without Christmas decorations completely, here are some sustainable and plastic-free Christmas decoration ideas.
Decorate with chalk
You can now use the liquid chalk to decorate your windows. It is very easy to paint stars and snowflakes on the window panes. You can also use the chalk to create the effect of snow. If you have children, they will be happy to take part in decorating the windows.
Another natural decoration are self-painted branches. You can paint branches from your own garden or from the park next door with Christmas colors like red, green and white. Make sure that the branches are well dried before painting.
Small "Christmas trees" from pine cones
With pine cones you can make many Christmas decorations. A DIY decoration idea are the small Christmas trees in a pot. For this you need nothing more than a pine cone, a small star (you can find it in the craft store), a small flower pot and optionally a little paint. The homemade Christmas trees look especially good on a windowsill.
Vase with fir branches
Christmas without plastic with plastic free gifts
Maybe you know what it's like: It's December 23rd and you're rushing from one store to the next, stressed out, to buy a gift that the person you're giving it to might not even need. Often there are plastics somewhere on or in the gifts. Especially with the gifts for the children you can often find plastic. Below I show you some nice Zero Waste gift ideas that are guaranteed to make your Christmas a bit more plastic free.
Soulbottle drinking bottle
The Soulbottle drinking bottle not only looks good, but is also a good sustainable alternative to conventional PET bottles. The bottles are also suitable for higher temperatures and are dishwasher safe. The Soulbottles come in many different designs and are suitable for every age group.
You can get the Soulbottle drinking bottle here*.
A cool gift idea for plastic-free Christmas are Beeswax wipes. Beeswax wipes save you a lot of plastic wrap. You can easily wash them with lukewarm water and thus use them again and again.
Beeswax wipes in plastic free packaging you can get here*.
You can find more gift ideas in the article Plastic free gifts for Valentine's Day.
How you can wrap gifts plastic-free, you will learn in the article Wrap gifts plastic free.
Plastic free Christmas with homemade cookies
Delicious Christmas cookies are also vegan. If you make them yourself, you save the plastic packaging from the supermarket. Now I show you a recipe for vegan cinnamon stars.
For the dough:
- 1 1/2 tbsp psyllium
- 4 tablespoons water
- 225 g powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- 200 g walnuts
- 150 g almonds
- 1 vanilla pod
For the glaze:
- 100 g powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp almond milk
- Optional: 1 pinch cinnamon
- Mix the psyllium seeds and water well together and set aside for a few minutes.
- Then mix it with the rest of the ingredients and let the dough sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Line the work surface with paper and place the sticky dough on it. Then put another piece of baking paper on top and roll out the dough like this, otherwise it will be too sticky. Now you can cut out stars or other shapes with a baking pan.
- Now leave the dough in a cold place for 3 hours.
- Then preheat the oven to 200 degrees and put the stars together with the baking paper on The work surface lined with baking paper, put dough on it and again put baking paper over the dough, roll out like this (otherwise it sticks incredibly). Cut out stars with a star mold, very carefully place on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate the stars for about 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put the stars together with the baking paper on a baking tray and carefully place the dough stars on it. After about 8 minutes the cookies are ready.
- Now mix all the ingredients for the glaze and put the glaze on the cookies.
Plastic-free Christmas with these tips
Celebrating a holiday like Christmas without plastic isn't that hard, is it? If you pay attention to a few things, you can already save a lot of waste. I'm sure we can create a big change by being environmentally conscious during holidays. I hope these tips help you out!
What other tips do you have for a plastic-free Christmas? Let me know in the comments.
Merry Christmas and stay clean,
PS: I wrote this article together with Tabea.
PPS: In the Plastic free blog you'll get many more tips on how to live plastic-free. For example, learn how to reduce your Make detergent yourself can to do without plastic packaging in the future.