In recent years, Christmas celebrations have changed significantly for Rasmus Lønne and his
family. Since launching Zero Waste Shop, a Copenhagen-based boutique that sells a selection of environmentally-friendly homewares and personal care items, Lønne and his wife Vinni have been on a “journey” to reconfigure their consumption habits. Alongside the establishment of their business, the couple transitioned to veganism, phased out all plastics, and committed to rarely buying anything new.
Such commitment to a more sustainable existence extends to the holidays. While Vinni’s Chinese heritage meant that Christmas didn’t hold the same weight for her growing up, Lønne’s own childhood was steeped in Danish tradition. As a parent to two young children – Elliot, aged three, and eight-month-old Allie – he wants them to enjoy the same magical experiences that he remembers, even as they eat a vegan variation on a roast and unwrap used toys. “We don’t want our kids to feel that they’re not part of it,” he says.
Enlisting the support of their extended family has been a fundamental part of maintaining these festive traditions. “It’s definitely been something we’ve had to discuss to align expectations with our parents and my sister,” says Lønne, who has helped family members select second-hand presents for the children and coordinated meat-free dishes with his mother. “It’s gone well, without any big conflicts, but of course it’s something you have to talk about quite a bit and people make fun of it.”
For those interested in reducing their environmental impact, Lønne recommends a two-pronged approach. When it comes to cooking, he encourages vegan substitutes wherever possible.
And with gifting, he and Vinni have tried to avoid making that the focal point of the holiday. Instead, they hope to teach their children that Christmas is a time to celebrate the greatest gift of all: each other.