The festive season is here, and this we’ve been feeling extra Christmassy! But, have you ever stopped to think about the environmental impact of single-use Christmas decorations? Let’s make this year your most sustainable yet and let’s ditch the unsustainable décor in favour of eco-friendly alternatives. In this blog post, we’ll explore how sustainable Xmas decorations can make a difference and provide you with six easy DIY ideas to transform your home into a eco winter wonderland.
Don’t forget to grab your free Sustainable Christmas Audit to help you make more sustainable decisions this Christmas!
The Environmental Impact of Single-Use Christmas Decorations
Single-use decorations often use non-sustainable materials, including fossil fuels, contributing to carbon emissions. Additionally, they are often produced in factories with poor labour laws and unethical environmental practices, leading to a significant environmental impact.
According to a report by the GWP Group, the UK discards 125,000 tonnes of plastic waste each Christmas, adding to the already overwhelming landfill problem. These alarming statistics call for a shift towards sustainable alternatives such as upcycled paper, eco-friendly wreaths, and DIY ornaments made from materials from around your house.
Sustainable Christmas Decorations Examples
So what do we mean when we stay Christmas decorations? These can be anything from:
- Christmas Wreath
- Advent Calendar
- Christmas Lights
How Sustainable Decorations Can Make a Difference
Choosing sustainable Xmas decorations are a bit of a no brainer but lets first dive into an overview so you know why choosing environmentally friendly Christmas decorations are better for the planet.
- Firstly, Choosing sustainable Xmas decorations promotes eco-friendly values that you can pass onto your kids. This is because you are teaching them the value of reusing, repairing and recycling.
- Second, Buying sustainable Xmas decorations from smaller brands supports local artisans, companies and framers who tend to adopt ethical manufacturing and packaging practices.
- Lastly, Upcycling a sustainable Christmas decoration significantly reduces your environmental impact over the festive season which in turn contributes to a healthier planet with lower carbon emissions.
The question ask your self this year is, do I really need this, if so is there a way I could recycle, or reuse something in my house to make this? If the answer is no then go ahead a buy that box sustainable Xmas decorations. Hang on, is there a way to assess or audit what you decorations you need/ don’t need I hear you ask? The answer is yes!
Sustainable Decorations Audit Checklist
Before I start decorating I like to use this audit to help me decide what decorations to buy or upcycle. The audit has two psychological benefits.
- Firstly it act as a sustainability sponsor making sure I’m being responsible with my purchases.
- Secondly, whilst doing an annual check I can make sure that I am actively upcycling and reusing old decorations or giving away what I don’t need before buying more sustainable Xmas decorations.
Christmas Decoration Audit Checklist
1. Is it currently the Holiday Season?
2. Do you already have Christmas decorations from previous years?
3. Are your existing decorations in good condition?
4. Is there a special occasion or event for which you need decorations?
5. Consider your budget: Is buying new decorations within your budget?
6. Do you have a strong emotional attachment to new decorations? – Does it bring joy or sentimental value?
7. Considering all factors, do you feel it’s necessary to buy new decorations?
8. Final Decision: Based on your answers, you should:
– Consider buying single-use Christmas decorations.
– Re-evaluate the need for new decorations.
You can use this questionnaire to guide you through the Christmas decorations process and then decide if you want to ahead and buy or upcycle and reuse instead. Click here to download your sustainable Xmas decorations audit and use today!
Transform Your Christmas with These Sustainable Decoration Ideas
Creating an eco-friendly Christmas with sustainable Xmas decorations involves thinking outside the box. I’ve listed six ideas you can try this year to reduce your carbon footprint.
1. DIY Ornaments from Garden Materials
Creating your own ornaments from garden materials can truly elevate your eco-friendly décor. The process not only adds a personal touch but also minimizes the use of traditional decorations that often contribute to higher carbon emissions.
Crafting rosemary and leaf bunches from foliage found in your own garden is a wonderful way to infuse a natural, minimalist aesthetic into your festive décor. This DIY hack allows you to flex your creative muscles while reducing the need for store-bought, mass-produced ornaments.
2. Reusing and Upcycling Existing Decorations
Supporting sustainable practices, reusing and upcycling existing decorations can bring new life to your Christmas décor. Instead of buying new ornaments, consider giving a fresh look to your old baubles by using a light abrasive sponge to create a new design.
This not only reduces the need for new purchases but also minimizes carbon emissions associated with the production and transportation of new decorations. Upcycling existing decorations is a great way to reduce waste and give a personalized touch to your Christmas décor.
3. Renting Christmas Trees: A Sustainable Alternative
When considering eco-friendly Christmas decoration options, renting Christmas trees is a great sustainable alternative. A rented tree reduces the environmental impact of real tree cutting, unlike artificial trees made from oil-derived PVC. Artificial trees have a significant carbon footprint and are not recyclable or biodegradable.
In contrast, a real tree has a much lower carbon footprint, especially when recycled into bark chippings and compost. Additionally, companies like Bloom & Wild offer sustainable Xmas decorations in the form of letterbox Christmas trees that serve as a perfect centrepiece for just £30, making it a convenient and eco-conscious choice.
4. Salt Dough Christmas Decorations
Crafting salt dough decorations is a wonderful way to create a bunch of sustainable Xmas decorations and embrace sustainable and eco-friendly festive practices. By choosing salt dough over single-use decorations, you’re making a conscious choice to reduce carbon emissions and create a more environmentally friendly holiday season.
This creative activity also doubles as a delightful project to make with your children, adding an extra touch of joy and togetherness to the holiday celebrations. I think salt dough decorations truly embodies the spirit of a sustainable Christmas, offering a meaningful and memorable way to adorn your home for the season.
Here’s a fab but not-so-quick recipe I’ve been using:
Salt Dough Recipe
Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (240g) salt
1 cup (240ml) water
Mix the dry ingredients
Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Stir well to ensure an even mixture.
Add Water: Gradually add the water to the dry ingredients. Mix continuously to form a dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a bit more flour until it reaches a smooth, pliable consistency.
Knead the dough
Knead the Dough: Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and easy to work with.
Roll out the shapes
Roll Out the Dough: Roll out the dough to your desired thickness (typically around 1/4 inch or 0.6 cm).
Cut out the shapes
Cut Out Shapes: Use cookie cutters or a knife to cut out shapes for your ornaments. Remember to make a small hole near the top of each shape if you plan to hang them on your Xmas tree. I use a pen lid.
Bake: Preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C). Place the cut-out shapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 2 hours or until the ornaments are dry and hard. Keep an eye on them to prevent browning.
Cool: Allow the ornaments to cool completely before decorating.
Decorate (Optional): Once the ornaments are cool, you can paint them with acrylic paint or add food colouring to the dough for different colours. Let your creativity shine!
Seal (Optional): To preserve your ornaments, you can apply a clear varnish or a layer of Mod Podge. This step is optional but can help protect the ornaments and give them a glossy finish.
String and Hang
String or Hang: Thread a ribbon or string through the hole you made before baking to create a loop for hanging.
5. Crochet Stars/ Baubles
Looking for upcycled and sustainable Xmas decorations you can make? Crochet stars/baubles are a perfect choice. Even if you’re not an expert at crocheting, you can still enjoy these lovely ornaments. For example, a friend made me a cute little mushroom ornament that I hang every year.
The best part is that you can crochet just about any shape or object. If you need some inspiration, Pinterest is a great place to find ideas and help you get creative. Remember to keep it fun and start small!
6. Orange Slice Christmas Tree Ornaments
Orange slice ornaments present an environmentally friendly and sustainable option for sustainable Xmas decorations. We dehydrated our over two years ago, these orange slices are a lovely honeycomb colour and remain as vibrant and fragrant as ever.
Dehydrating makes them a long-lasting alternative can the family can make as a craft. To keep them fresh for the next year, I’d advise you store them in vacuum-packed bags, kept in a dark dry box. For those looking to recreate this I’ll post a recipe next month.
Eco-Friendly Brands for Sustainable Christmas Decorations
Looking for eco-friendly brands for sustainable Xmas decorations? Look no further than these top recommendations.
All offer a range of fairtrade, not on the high street, environmentally conscious sustainable Xmas decorations to adorn your home during the festive season. Whether you’re searching for handmade wreaths, upcycled wrapping paper, or fair trade ornaments, these brands have great options to suit your taste and values.
Kidly are more child and family and vegan products like glitter, glue, wild seed growers and toys. Whereas, Protect The Planet is geared towards gifts for grown-ups such as secret santa gifts, decor accessories, small houseplants. The National Trust produce lovely lanterns, wreath base and wreaths. My fave is Nkuku it’s the best for gift ideas, mantle piece decorations.
All deliver to your front door and take care to ensure sustainable packaging.
How Can We Make Our Holidays More Environment Friendly?
Reduce your environmental impact during the holidays by using eco-friendly decorations and adopting sustainable practices. Choose Christmas decorations made from sustainable materials like wood and bamboo. Plan meals and buy fewer gifts to minimize overconsumption. For more tips on buying eco stocking fillers, check out our blog ‘Top 10 Eco Stocking Fillers 2023‘.
What materials should I avoid when looking for sustainable Christmas decorations?
When looking for eco friendly xmas decorations, it is best to avoid materials such as plastic, non-recyclable materials, and single-use items. Instead, choose decorations made from natural, biodegradable, and eco-friendly materials like wood, paper, fabric, or recycled materials.
Final Thoughts on Sustainable Xmas Decorations
Incorporating sustainable Christmas decorations not only helps reduce waste and minimize environmental impact but also adds a unique and personal touch to your festive celebrations. By reusing, upcycling, and opting for eco-friendly alternatives, you can create beautiful decorations that are both stylish and sustainable.
Consider making DIY ornaments from garden materials, using salt dough or crochet, or repurposing existing decorations. Additionally, renting a Christmas tree or supporting eco-friendly brands can further contribute to a more environmentally friendly holiday season.
Let’s make this Christmas a time of joy and sustainability. Subscribe to our newsletter and take our Sustainable Living Quiz to learn more about your sustainable living habits!