I’m dreaming of a green Christmas … With the holidays fast approaching, those looking for a greener take on the end-of-year celebrations should start their Yuletide preparations at a sustainable Christmas market. Local, regional, and – most of all – creative: for a truly peace-of-mind festive season.

Los Angeles: a pop-up holiday event

Regional delicacies, hand-knitted children’s wear, or the latest designer chair for mom’s kitchen – at Unique Market, gift seekers are easily spoilt for choice. More than 400 artists, designers, and up-and-coming brands make this L.A.-based event the largest pop-up holiday-themed market in the United States.

visitors of the Christmas market in LA designing their own Christmas postcards
The motto in LA: get creative!
Photo: Unique Markets

If you prefer to craft your own gifts for that elusive personal touch, there are plenty of workshops to up your DIY game, from handmade soaps to toys for the little ones. Stocking fillers, here we come!

Unique Market: December 2nd–3rd 2017

Berlin: a plastic-free experience

A great draw for fans of the zero waste approach, Berlin’s Green Market has been a welcome alternative to conventional Christmas markets for the past three years. Whether tasty street food or handmade gifts: You can be sure that there is no plastic involved.

signpost at the Green Market in Berlin
Zero-waste shopping in Berlin.
Photo: Anne Freitag

After fueling up on healthy treats, browse the latest collections by sustainable labels or find out more about vegan lifestyle trends and sustainable innovations at one of the talks held at the event. Or simply go with the flow and enjoy the entertainment on offer, ranging from DJs and bands to cooking demonstrations.

The Green Market: December 16th–17th 2017

three women looking at sustainable jewelry at the Green Market in Berlin
Browse sustainable fashion and jewelry.
Photo: Anne Freitag

London: regional design to the rescue

At London’s Christmas Makers Market, vendors only sell goods that were handcrafted, handpainted, or handsown in the UK. Besides browsing the bustling market stalls, visitors can also get hands-on at one of the market’s creative workshops. 

Urban makers East market in London
Shopping meets workshops in London.
Photo: La Cabine de Margaux

So, if you’re still looking for that bespoke gift, why not build a seasonal terrarium for plants? You’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind design – and the perfect present for nature lovers who haven’t quite found their own green thumb.

Christmas Makers Market: December 9th–10th 2017

a couple holding a piece of clothing
Everything is “made in England.”
Photo: La Cabine de Margaux

Vienna: organic to the core

In Vienna, lovers of romantic Old Town settings – and everything organic – flock to the eco-friendly Art Advent in front of St. Charles’ Church. This year marks the market’s first foray into becoming a so-called green event.

fire show at the Art Advent in Vienna
Show elements at “Art Advent” in Vienna.
Photo: Divina Art

All aspects of the Art Advent, from food stalls and waste management to transport and travel, adhere to strict sustainability guidelines.

Art Advent: November 17th– December 23rd 2017

New York: making Central Park even greener

Handmade, sustainable, fair, and 100% eco-friendly: That’s the promise of the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. Expect to find (almost) anything your heart desires: homemade chocolates, jewelry by new designers, or the latest offerings by sustainable fashion labels. The unbeatable backdrop does the rest: picturesque Central Park.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market: December 1st–24th 2017

view of the Columbus Circle Christmas Market in NYC
Find New York’s holiday market near Central Park.
Photo: Urbanspace

Trient: green Christmas and Alpine panorama

A sustainable Christmas in the South Tyrol Alps – can you imagine anything more picture-perfect to get you in the right holiday spirits? Now for the 24th time, the small Italian town of Trient hosts its annual green holiday market “Mercantino Green,” dedicated to getting all those small details just right. From recyclable shopping bags to green energy, everything in Trient is eco-friendly.

Mercatino Green 2017: November 18th 2017–January 6th 2018

Christmas market in South Tyrol
Christmas in Italy’s South Tyrol region.
Photo: iStock/oriredmouse

Oakland: thoughtful DIY gifts

At Oakland’s Urban Air Market, 140 local makers, artists, and designers offer their products, made and manufactured by themselves. So, if you’re still looking for a thoughtful treat for your eco-conscious friends or relatives, you’re bound to discover something they will cherish.

sustainable jewelry
Discover artisan jewelry – like these pieces by Anna Monet.
Photo: Anna Monet

Those who prefer to make their own, can take advantage of a dedicated DIY day: More than 20 different stations invite tinkerers, woodworkers, paper artists, or needle crafters to make their gifts truly personal.

Urban Air Market: December 3rd 2017