We all love to get festive during the holiday season, but all of that decor can cause a lot of waste that isn’t good for the environment. Read on to learn about some earth-friendly alternatives to plastic ornaments and disposable decor such as tinsel. Make sure to check out our resources at the bottom of this page for DIY instructions!
Try solar-powered LED lights and connect them to a timer to limit their use. If these aren’t an option, look for LED lights that are Energy Star qualified – they are 90% more efficient and last longer!
Recycle your old lights. Some hardware stores have exchange programs during the holiday season, or you can check with your local scrap metal dealer. For the most sustainable option, skip electric lights and decorate indoors with candles and reflective ornaments.
To decorate outside, make some edible ornaments for your local wildlife! Try seed balls, pinecones with peanut butter, and strings of plain air-popped popcorn and fruit.
Before you get started, research the birds most common in your area so that you can make ornaments appropriate for their diet.
Get creative with sustainable and recycled materials to make your own door wreath!
Upcycle items in your home. Old clothing and other textiles can be repurposed to create a fabric wreath! Or try making one out of corks or clothespins.
Make a truly green wreath by finding materials in your own backyard. You can find materials in your own backyard. Collect pinecones, tree branches and greenery, even make a wreath out of fresh herbs! Pick a sprig or two off of your wreath as needed while you cook for the first few days, then wait until they dry out to collect them for use in future meals.
Decor Swaps & DIY
Getting tired of some of your decorations? Instead of getting rid of them, try hosting a decor swap so that you and your friends can discover decor that is new to you!
Feeling crafty? There are lots of great ideas for making your own ornaments out of recycled or natural materials. Check some out at the link in the bio!
Make a tree using recycled materials! Use boxes to make a cardboard tree, a paperback book that has seen better days, or sticks and wood scraps from the backyard. The possibilities are limitless!
Info from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and The Good Trade.
Resources and DIY Instructions
- Decorate a Tree for Birds
- Upcycled T-Shirt Wreath
- Other Upcycled Wreaths
- Upcycled Ornaments
- Eco-Friendly Alternatives for Traditional Trees
- More Sustainable Holiday Season Tips