Blog: Christmas

"Green" or white Christmas

Christmas is the time of year when we humans consume the most - and thus emit a lot of CO₂. Christmas is also very important for companies. Our tips will help you celebrate more sustainably.

Camille reynaud portrait

Camille Reynaud

Climate Intelligence Expert

The third candle on the Advent wreath is burning and with it we are in the middle of the Christmas season - the time of year when we humans consume the most. Each and every German emits an average of 338 kilograms of CO₂ at Christmas. Your footprint even reaches up to two tonnes, if you add lighting, presents, Christmas menu and the flights home for the feast with your loved ones. This means that the emissions of the Christmas holidays can account for up to15% of an average annual CO₂ footprint of 11.5 tonnes in total.

How companies celebrate more sustainably

But Christmas is also very important for companies. Gifts for employees and customers, Christmas dinners and parties, decorated offices - the Christmas season has a large share in the emissions of organisations. The good news is that it can be done more sustainably!

However, it is not easy to get an overview as a company of how to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused during the Christmas season. We have therefore compiled tips and measures for a more sustainable Christmas season. Have fun reading!

Meals without regrets: Sustainable tastes

Food production is one of the main causes of climate change. Worldwide, it is responsible for one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce the environmental impact of food, the switch to plant-based food is inevitable. If we remove animal products from our diet, we can halve the annual CO₂ emissions of the food sector.

Switching to a plant-based diet is an everyday measure that helps reduce our carbon footprint. But it becomes especially important around Christmas, when traditionally many recipes involve meat. But food waste also increases around Christmas. One third of the world's food is wasted every year. In Austria, this figure increases by 20% during the Christmas season.

Here's how:

  • Vegetarian or plant-based Christmas menu: Is the Christmas menu cooked in-house? Then why not offer a vegan or vegetarian menu as an alternative, with seasonal and local products. If you prefer to order your food, there are several sustainable delivery services in Austria and Germany: Rita Bringt's, Markta or Etepetete. Join our community and get discount codes for your orders!
  • Food planning: At Christmas, a lot of food ends up in the rubbish. So the first step is to optimise food orders and purchases.
  • Manages food waste: Despite good planning, food can be left over. If possible, don't throw it away. Instead, donate it to staff or set up a food sharing system.
  • Use compost bins: Introduce compost bins for your organic waste and encourage staff to separate their waste. This will prevent food waste from ending up in the regular rubbish. These solutions simplify composting: wormsystems, composters and Damn Plastic.

The better gifts for employees and customers

Quality before quantity, that also applies to gift giving. After all, every seventh European receives material gifts that they don't need. Christmas gifts for employees and customers are a nice gesture. But make sure that the gifts are really useful. In addition, wrapping material gifts usually requires a large amount of wrapping paper. In Vienna alone, around 300 tonnes of paper are thrown away during Christmas week.

Here's how:

  • Give away experiences: Non-material gifts create less waste and are more likely to be used. Kill two birds with one stone by giving away a workshop or training on climate action. This will raise awareness in your company and among your stakeholders.
  • Go for sustainable brands: Non-material gifts are more environmentally friendly. If you still want to give material gifts, you should go for second-hand gifts or sustainable and local brands. These products and suppliers will help you buy sustainable gifts: Sunnybag, Waterdrop, Das Merch, Soulbottles... Join the Glacier community and get discount codes for your orders!
  • Avoid wrapping paper: Recyclable paper is a good alternative to classic wrapping paper. Attention: Adhesive tape and glitter make recycling wrapping paper almost impossible!

It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas… Dank nachhaltiger Deko!

A decorated Christmas tree, twinkling fairy lights, festive decorations - all this creates a Christmas atmosphere in the company. However, when decorating your office, make sure you know which Christmas decorations you are using!

Here's how:

  • Choose your Christmas tree wisely: Every year, around 30 million Christmas trees are bought in Germany. If you choose a natural tree, make sure that it can be recycled or even transplanted after Christmas. There is also the option of renting a Christmas tree for the Christmas season and having it picked up and transplanted. If you are considering buying an artificial tree, be sure to use it for at least twelve years. This is because thecarbon footprint of an artificial tree is 12 times higher than that of a natural one, which is then burned as firewood.
  • Reuse the decorations: Don't buy new decorations every year, but reuse them. Another idea is to make the tree decorations yourself. There are many DIY instructions on the internet - the ideal teambuilding activity!
  • Think about lighting: Use LED lamps for your Christmas decorations. They are 75% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Remember: saving energy avoids greenhouse gas emissions!

Christmas party with a difference: our tips for sustainable events

Once again this year, Covid-19 is making it hard to have a big Christmas party with all the staff. So how about a hybrid event? In this blog post, you can read about how we received Green Meeting certification from Glacier for our Climate Impact Day. Read on to find out how you can organise a Covid-19 compliant and environmentally friendly Christmas party!

We hope these tips will help you to make the Christmas season more sustainable in your company. If you have any questions or need help implementing the measures presented, Glacier is here for you! Get in touch with us here here or contact us at

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