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Wie grüne Geschenke unser Zusammenleben transformieren können

Dear tree friends,

When does the Christmas season begin for you? When the shops start to sell Quality Street? Or when you open the first Advent calendar? For me, it's just before the first Sunday of Advent, when I put up the Advent wreath together with my family. However, in Germany, the start of the 35th calendar week already marks the official opening of the commercial Christmas season. This means that the Christmas goods for this season have already started to arrive on the supermarket shelves. Pretty early, isn't it?

Christmas as the festival of love should actually stand for contemplation, for time with loved ones, for reflection, for eating and singing together. Unfortunately, Christmas today means stress for most people, as it is more about consumption than love. A highlight of this development is Black Friday - when a large part of the Christmas gifts are already purchased at the end of November. Is it really the spirit of Christmas when people fight over the cheapest bargain at sale tables in a crowded department store? Is it about pleasing one's loved ones, or is it just about more and more consumption?

According to, 64% of the items bought on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are given as Christmas presents. In 2020 alone, around 3.8 billion euros were spent in Germany on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Thus, the gifts bought for Christmas on these two days had a value of 2.44 billion euros. That's a lot of money.

Apart from the questionability of the Christmas idea in view of the consumption hype, one must also ask oneself with regard to climate change and the scarcity of resources what effects this kind of shopping has on the environment. Even if exact calculations are difficult, it is obvious that the negative consequences in terms of CO2 emissions, plastic waste and returned parcel destruction are serious. These problems associated with our shopping behaviour can be aptly illustrated using the example of online shopping and returns: In Germany alone, 24% of items purchased online are returned and many of these are not resold but destroyed directly. If one were to assume that of the , 4 billion parcels shipped in 2020, all were from online retail, then that would result in 960 million returned parcels.
In fact, in 2020 Germany had the 5th highest amount of shipped parcels worldwide urpassed by China (83 billion) and the USA (20 billion), among others. If we take the latest calculation by Dr. Björn Abdecker of 1,500 g CO2e per returned parcel, the emissions of returned parcels add up to 1,440,000 t CO2e for the year 2020. This corresponds to the CO2 emissions of approx. 9,000,000 flights from Paris to Toulouse - the most popular flight route within Europe!

In order to save our planet, our consumer behaviour must change. This Christmas, we can set an example. Let's stop giving our loved ones online items purchased on Black Friday that are likely to be returned and fuel climate change. Instead, Christmas in 2022 can finally become a celebration of love, rather than a celebration of consumption.

Why not give a green gift this year in the spirit of sustainability? A gift with a positive impact that will definitely not be returned? Giving trees is a nice way to make a statement, inspire others and express love. By caring for the environment, you are contributing to your own well-being and a better future for us all. By giving impact away, we not only avoid emissions, but also create awareness for issues like climate change and social justice. This way, Black Friday can finally become Green Friday and we can create awareness for the importance of sustainability and even inspire our loved ones with it.

When we are gifting trees for Christmas, not only do we directly contribute to the creation of jobs that feed people and restore ecosystems, but we are helping to reduce all the emissions exacerbated by Black Friday and online commerce. It is up to us how we shape our consumption choices and how we want to express love through our gifts.

Here are 10 reasons to give trees as a gift.


From trees with love 

Grow My Tree

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