Sustainable Festivities

A festivity has been defined as the celebration of something in a joyful and exuberant way. 

Every year, there are traditional, national, or different kinds of festivities and celebrations in different countries. Have you ever thought about how sustainable these festivities are? Or how can we make these celebrations sustainable?

I would like to touch on the subject of food by taking my own country as an example. In my country, incredible food is cooked every year, especially during traditional holidays. So, do we really need that much food?

Of course, that much food is not needed at all, and usually after two days the food is mostly thrown away. We may have taken a small but actually big step for ourselves by starting to cook as much as we need.

How to be sustainable with food ?

If food waste was a country it would be the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gasses after China and the USA.  

So reducing waste in this festivities is simple: freeze anything you can’t eat while it’s fresh and, where possible, buy loose produce so you can select the exact amount that you need.

Another solution is using your own food when you prepare the meals. When you produce your own food, you will see how less inclined you are to waste. Because what people produce with their own labor becomes more valuable.

Use seasonal ingredients in your meals.
When possible try to include seasonal produce from your local farm shop or greengrocer in your diet. As well as supporting your local economy, you might get to know local producers and get tips on how to prepare seasonal foods. You can check what’s in the season with this handy calendar.

For example, this plant, which is planted with wheat to represent the arrival of spring, is cooked as halvah after the feast is over and the plant withers and is not wasted. I recently learned that Hungarians plant the same plant before the new year. I am adding a video here because I think it might sound interesting how it is prepared for Hungarians reading the article.

One of the celebrations we left behind in the last few days was Christmas.

So how sustainable are the Christmas trees set up this holiday?

What is the most environmentally friendly choice: a real or an artificial Christmas tree? Or is there an even more sustainable festive option? Cutting down trees is bad, right? And using artificial trees can surely not be good for the environment. So what’s the answer?

The artificial tree is most likely to be painted as the bad guy. It is mostly made from a plastic called PVC that creates emissions in its manufacture and, unlike a real tree, is not biodegradable. There is also the cardboard required for packaging and the emissions generated as they are shipped across the globe from the factory to your home.

But artificial trees are not all bad. They are often cheaper and flame-retardant, which is important for trees in public places. And, if you have an artificial tree and re-use it for at least 10 Christmases. 

Are potted trees the most sustainable Christmas tree? There is an alternative: potted trees, which can be replanted after the festive season and re-used year-after-year.

Or you can hire a real Christmas tree. Many garden centers and plant nurseries offer this service, they then replant the tree and re-hire it for the next Christmas

What if you make a tree with your lovely books or pictures?

What if we decorate our Christmas trees with popcorn? Yes, the old Hungarian tradition of decorating the Christmas tree. A lovely idea. Instead of artificial decorating tools.

What about Christmas gift packaging?

Are they really important and sustainable? What if we consider other options instead of traditional wrapping paper?

Christmas can be a challenging time of year, as commercial pressure to purchase gifts is extremely high, yet not everyone has the financial freedom to spend a lot of money. On the other hand, many people enjoy gift-giving and want to bestow presents on their loved ones during the holidays. But how to be sustainable with package ?


So the following ideas can be used instead of wrapping paper

  1. Reuse newspapers
  2. Cardboard boxes
  3. Paper tape
  4. Some tree branches 
  5. Upcycled t-shirt

Little fitted table, a very simple Christmas tree, and happy people. It means that people can be happy without Christmas presents. Maybe all we have to do is find a way to teleport back to these times ☺

We all know how important festivities are in our lives. we all want to celebrate our traditional holidays by being loyal to our own custom families. Of course, we will celebrate our holidays, we will stay true to our traditions. But when we do these things, our little awareness for the environment will maybe inspire others and our world will be better.