6 ways to decorate your home in a planet-friendly way this Christmas
Dressing your home to feel more festive is one of the simple pleasures of Christmas. Sadly it’s also one of the major ways plastic is introduced into the home at this time of the year. But it doesn’t need to be this way! In this article we’ll show you six ways to decorate your home for Christmas in a more eco-friendly way, while supporting small businesses and creating new family traditions.
1. Choose plastic-free decorations for your tree
Tinsel started in Germany with people using thin strands of real silver in their trees, but somewhere along the way plastic took over. Not only is plastic tinsel harmful for the environment, it can also be dangerous for our pets. Polly from This Thing is String has a solution. She sells “strinsel” (string tinsel), a plastic-free alternative to this cherished Christmas decoration.
If you’re not a fan of tinsel, think about what kind of look and feel you do want to add to your tree. If you’d like something natural and soft, Wolf and Bee makes a planet-friendly star garland that would look beautiful wrapped around any Christmas tree.
But if you want to be kind to the planet but can’t resist bright and colourful, this crocheted rainbow bulb garland by Poppy Darling could ease the dilemma.
Or if you want to add some cuteness to your tree, this heirloom reindeer decoration by Caroline Watts Embroidery could be just the ticket. It’s made from wool felt and finished off with a wax cotton hanging cord. Sweet and sustainable!
2. Be intentional when buying Christmas decor
Rather than changing your Christmas colour scheme every year, focus instead on buying special, personal decorations that will last year after year. Decorations bought in this way can become much-loved nostalgic objects, brought out of the attic each December, even passed down through generations.
Look for Christmas decorations that are well made, using quality materials, rather than mass-produced, cheaply made items that won’t stand the test of time.
3. Use natural and found materials to decorate your home
Greenery such as spruce and holly have been used for centuries during this season to decorate homes and celebrate the winter solstice. The idea is to bring the outside in, so deck yourself out in your hand-knitted hat, scarves and gloves and get exploring! What can you find in the local woodlands around you? Follow the same rules as with foraging and collect sustainably and responsibly, making sure you stay safe and within the law. See the Woodland Trust foraging guidelines here >
Making your own wreath is surprisingly mindful and relaxing – plus you’ll be able to admire your creation all season long and well into the New Year. If you’re not sure where to start, have a look for classes near you (check out your local florist or craft shop) or book into one of Hannah Bullivant‘s live online wreath-making workshops. Arena Flowers also sell DIY wreath kits, where you get everything you need delivered to your door.
If you don’t want to brave the cold, curl up on the sofa and have a look through our Natural Christmas guide on Folksy instead. All Things Wreath and Wonderful sell a fresh foliage wreath kit to make with your loved ones, while Beach and Bough also sell organic fresh pinecones to bring the woodlands indoors, and other makers, such as Wiktorsi Ceramics, incorporate found materials to their Christmas decorations (like this snowflake and driftwood decoration), so you can get the foraged look without the hard work!
4. Repair or recycle your decorations
How many times have you got all geared up with giddy children ready to decorate the tree, only to find the fairy lights are in a tangled mess or broken? Rather than rushing out to get new ones, try repairing them yourself (here’s a handy guide) and if they really are done for, take them to be recycled at a household waste recycling centre rather than binning them. Some local authorities collect small electricals as part of their recycling collections and may also provide special collection bins at sites like supermarket car parks, so check your council website for info.
And if all is lost, why not light some good old-fashioned candles instead? Tealights give a gorgeous glow, and there are handmade tealight holders and lanterns that can last a lifetime – this Christmas tree glass tealight holder by Kerry’s Glass Kitchen would brighten up any space, and we also love this quirky ceramic Christmas tree tealight holder by Parsnip Pottery, Melanie Made Mud’s ceramic lanterns and Clara Castner‘s translucent porcelain tea light holders.
5. Make your own Christmas crackers
Christmas crackers are famous for being filled with terrible jokes and plastic tat. But instead of being landfill preceded by momentary pleasure, make your cracker more meaningful! Look for fill-your-own cracker kits, like the ones made by The Whimsical Marbler, or reusable crackers, like these by Remade Vintage. Pop a small, carefully chosen, gift inside – and there’s nothing stopping you writing your own bad jokes too!
6. Set your Christmas table with festive cheer
Make it a meal to remember and set your Christmas table with beautiful sustainable handmade plates, pottery and recycled glass. At the end of the day, Christmas isn’t about the presents or how many lights you’ve put on your house – it’s about being with those you love.
Set the table with this hand-thrown ceramic set by Trawden Pottery or a gorgeous blue and white ceramic platter made by Zan and Me. Light the way with a handmade tealight holder by Sparrow’s Nest Ceramics and don’t forget to fill everyone’s glass with a bit of bubbly or juice and use these wine glass charms by Dolly Sheep to make the cheers even more personal.
Find more sustainable Christmas decorations and eco-friendly gift ideas at: