Top 10 Sustainable Christmas Markets
Some say December is the most wonderful time of the year, where Christmas tunes can fully be expected, Christmas markets flourish, and ice skating abounds. However, have you ever stopped to consider what else Christmas brings? Waste. With the excessive packaging, brightly lit Christmas lights and eggnog cups on market grounds; there simply must be a sustainable way to go about this holiday without being too wasteful. Luckily, we've compiled a list of destinations where sustainability is at the forefront of the agenda so that you can enjoy your eco-friendly Christmas Markets in these green cities.
As we all know, Berlin claims to be the greenest city in western Europe. Reusing, reducing, and recycling is the main motto of the city, and you’ll be amazed by the options you have to celebrate a very ‘green’ Christmas holiday. The 22nd Berlin Environmental and Christmas Market takes place every weekend in December until Christmas Day. If you fancy yourself some creative products that emphasize on environmentally sustainable, eco-friendly, organic, natural and fair-trade, then this market has everything and more! The second place to visit during this festive season is the Green Market Berlin: Winter Edition, which is the go-to-market for organic, vegan-friendly and sustainable products on and off the holiday season. You won’t be disappointed as the heroes of the eco-friendly scene return to proudly show their hand-made and seasonal products. Don’t forget to check out their live music sets and workshops help you get creative during this holiday. Check out more markets, events, and things to do during the Christmas season in Berlin.
London brings out the big guns when it comes to Christmas, from the wonderfully Christmas themed department store displays to the glittering lights adorned across the city, you’ll have a jolly old time here. On December 14th, you can enjoy the Sustainable Christmas Market at Senate House and find locally made products such as the award-winning craft beer made by a social enterprise, handmade soaps, jams and snacks, which sticks to the motto of Zero Waste. Also, check out the Urban Markers Market ongoing from October 21st- December 23rd that fosters local designers and craftsmen/women to showcase their homemade products. Check out more markets, events, and things to do during the Christmas season in London.
BolzanoBolzano is the gateway of the Dolomites, known for its rich wine cultivation and medieval center. Bolzano hosts one of the most eco-conscious Christmas markets in Italy. Aside from the romantic atmosphere with the snow-capped mountains, whimsical lightings and Christmas tree decorations, the city has pledged to make their Christmas events ‘green’ by using energy-efficient lighting, supporting regional products and goods to reduce carbon footprint, and cultivating sustainable Christmas trees. Enjoy some wine sipping and castle wandering for your holiday.
Like London, New York is the ideal place to be for Christmas or for most of the holiday season. The New York list of things to do during this time of year will make any travel jump for joy. But if you’re looking for a sustainability motive, then New York has ample artisanal markets to visit. Head over to the Columbus Circle Holiday Market starting from November 28th-December 24th, located at the grand entrance of Central Park. This is where you can explore the aisles of homemade products and baked goods, and browse through local artisanal and designer crafts that have sustainability in minds. You’ll also want to check out the Grand Central Holiday Fair and the Dekalb Market, located in Downtown Brooklyn amongst recycled shipping container, or the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park.
As you may well know, Portland, Oregon is a forward thinking ‘green’ hub that locals can proudly admit and visitors can thoroughly enjoy. One particular market to keep an eye out for is the Crafty Wonderland Holiday Art + Craft, which showcases 250+ artists, crafters and designers from the Pacific Northwest and all over the country, all on the main Convention Center floor. Only from December 9th-10th this year, and tickets are limited. For a more intimate artisanal market that truly has the Portlandia vibe, drop by the Renegade Craft Fair. Running on their 4th year, the market draws some of the best Pacific Northwest designers and creative to showcase their best craftsmanship. From handmade jewelry, organic tea blends, heirloom earrings, and original prints, you’ll have plenty to bring home for this winter holiday.
Have a unique Christmas experience in Capetown, South Africa, as Christmas brings in the summer instead of the cold winter air. Enjoy this holiday season with a visit to Made in Capetown Market for this 10-day event. The new rotation of vendors will make you want to come back day after day to see what’s new! The market offers a food market, home décor, upcycled items and homemade gifts.
Oslo, Norway has long been a pioneering sustainability country, and it is renowned internationally for keeping up with environmentally friendly practices. From reinforcing environmental initiatives to switching to renewable energy to power their buildings, it’s no question that Oslo has its very own Sustainable Christmas Market. Hoping to make a positive impact on the community. Setting an example for other ‘green’ thinking cities, the market will provide tote bags instead of plastic bags, Christmas decorations and notebooks crafted from recyclables, coffee ground soaps, products made by refugee women and many more upcycled crafts. The best part about the market is that it’s entirely free. This sustainable Christmas market will feed your heart and soul.
Known as the most fashionable city in Italy, Milan takes things into its own hands and created a Green Christmas Market that puts an emphasis on the natural lifestyle. Take a look at their eco-fashion clothing lines, eco-friendly crafts and organic makeup. All items have been carefully selected to ensure that it’s living up to the zero waster living and sustainability model. Ditch the high-end fashion to be good and wholesome this Christmas at this particular market.
Set in the beautiful city of Zurich, Weinachtdorf is the answer to an alternative and fresh market which strays away from the traditional German Christmas Market. Not only are you offered with some of the finest local crafts, designs and upcycling products, but each night brings in a new performer or whimsical character to light up your chilly night.
There’s no denying that Christmas comes with many festive cheers and joyful presents for all, however, the downside is the surmountable waste from the plastic cups and containers used at the Christmas markets. This year at the Winter Wonderland Christmas Market in Brussel, the City of Brussel will continue to use ‘Ecocup’, reusable cups that will help reduce waste around the city as the festivities continue to roll on.