10 tips for environmentally friendly Christmas

From grandma to secret service

Oh dear - even the Denttabs employees are wrapping their presents now. We spend the whole year trying to create as little packaging waste as possible - and then there comes Christmas!

The container as a treasure trove

It's best to look immediately to see what's hidden in the waste paper. Full-page colorful ads, for example, or pages with large photos. We found what we were looking for in the waste paper bag at home. But we also looked in the waste paper container at our house: Large-format art by Katharina Grosse was the highlight. And an illustration of the city of the future was also elegant. Also very pretty, but a bit unruly was a thick catalog with a seahorse on the front. The overly strong paper did not wrap well.

Method Secret Service

Nobody reads the thick book on the shelf anymore anyway. So we make a gift box out of it that Ma Dalton would be proud of: With the paper cutter or a very sharp knife, we cut out the pages so that a two-centimeter thick edge remains. A secret hiding place! You can hide a small gift in the hollow space, such as candy or a book - only smaller. And the recipient can continue to use the book with the cut-out pages as a secret hiding place. Tie a ribbon around it, and you're done.

Grandma shows how it's done

Reuse wrapping paper and ribbons. Grandparents have always done it anyway. They grab the prettiest pieces and stripes during the unpacking orgy under the Christmas tree, carefully cross them out and collect them for next year or the next birthday. Be like your grandma!

Maps, hiking maps

Have you ever looked in the box of maps? In many old editions, the paths are no longer correct and new paths have been added. We can use these old maps well as colorful Christmas paper. Because as laudable as it is to reuse maps and city plans: Neither in the city and certainly not in the mountains we want to get lost (any hiking app is more accurate). The old maps become so great wrapping paper sheets!

Packaging for reuse

Beeswax cloths or vegan plant wax cloths are THE plastic film alternative for daily food wrapping. And this is a great way to wrap small gifts. The packaging is then part of the gift at the same time. But as it is with packaging alternatives: Take a good look at the clothes you choose. They should not be too colorful. And if you value animal-ethical beeswax, look for manufacturers that use wax from organic or Demeter-certified bee colonies. Again, these clothes won't last forever. But the cloths can later be composted in the organic waste.

Can never have enough: Tea towels

Be it old, linen ones from the flea market or chic new ones - if you wrap a gift with tea towels, you give a double gift and reminisce every time you dry them.

Clean out the closet

Yes, exactly, because there is bound to be a colorful printed dress or shirt that unfortunately no longer fits or is entirely out of fashion. Cut the favorite flowered piece into squares, and wrap a candle. Tie with the fabric corners, or tie with wool scraps if that looks too messy. (If you still hem the fabric, it can be used as a table set).

Bags instead of plastic

Many households have plenty of them: cloth bags, often old promotional gifts. You don't need so many for shopping, so repurpose them. With a bit of patience, you can make a neat cover out of them, emphasizing the motif of the bag. A thick book fits nicely inside. Pick out a matching ribbon, done.

In a jar

Veggiehearts, licorice, or chocolate lentils are a great Christmas treat. You can have them filled in a lovely old screw-top jar or a small Weck jar in an unpackaged store. It is best to wrap them with a wide ribbon to avoid the surprise effect. Afterward, the recipient can retake the jar shopping - or store Denttabs in it.

Picture collage

If you can't find great newspaper pages, make them yourself. Cut out crazy headlines and beautiful pictures and illustrations and glue them onto scrap paper. These Christmas wraps are often the prettiest!

About packaging waste...

With 218 kilograms of packaging waste per capita and year, Germany is the European waste champion. If you think about the mountains of gift wrapping and wrapping paper at Christmas, you can imagine the peak values we reach at the end of the year. The monthly waste mountain grows by another 20 percent, estimates Deutsche Umwelthilfe. That's where you get a good feeling and do the environment a favor if you try to ensure that your own household's Christmas waste mountain becomes a hill.

You don't have to worry about it not going down well when gifts are wrapped unconventionally and in DIY style. According to a survey from Austria, half of the respondents appreciate Christmas gifts that are not elaborately wrapped, and almost 20 percent attach importance to ecologically sound packaging.

More information:
The Federal Government: https://bundesregierung.de/breg-de/aktuelles/weniger-muell-zu-weihnachten-425938

Competence Center for Sustainable Consumption: https://nachhaltigerkonsum.info/massnahmen

Oh, Christmas tree?
And while you're thinking about the environment at Christmas, what's the best tree to put your presents under? Yes, you can buy felled trees. As a rule, they come from replanted trees. Of course, it's best to choose a tree grown in the region. And if the coniferous tree bears an organic seal, it has not been specially fertilized. Buying a tree to plant sounds like a good idea. But the poor spruces and firs are usually much too hot in the apartments, and they die, then all the effort including transport was in vain. A plastic tree is no alternative; its ecological balance only beats the real, felled tree after 17 years. By then, the children are almost out of the house...

Your Denttabs Team

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