I talked about the great real vs artificial Christmas trees debate, and now I’m going to delve into the other aspects of decorating for the holidays. Putting out decorations while listening to Christmas music is a highlight of my December. My holiday decoration box is small and minimalist, but I still enjoy setting out the few inherited, gifted, and handmade decorations that I have. Here are four ideas for you to incorporate eco-friendly holiday decor.
Unfortuantely, poinsettias are not the best choice for an eco-conscious holiday. In America, 80% of them come from one single grower in Southern California, meaning they have been on a long, gas-guzzling journey prior to ending up in your house. Also, they can’y even live long in our environmental conditions.
Ask friends, gardeners, or staff at a local nursery what other options are available in your area and in season for beautiful blooms to fill your home. Go on a nature walk and collect your own branches, berries, etc to make wreaths, swag, and other decorations. Last year I made a wreath out of materials I found in my yard, and I couldn’t believe how great it looked.
Scented candles create a wonderful, cozy atmosphere. Unfortunately, most candles are made from paraffin wax which is refined from crude oil. These candles also emit toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, and soot when burned. Not so wonderful and cozy.
To avoid the negative environmental impact and dangerous chemicals simply switch to beeswax or soy candles. Beeswax candles are non-toxic and even provide negative ions to help clean the air. They also burn longer than any other type of candle. Soy candles are made from soybean oil which does not emit the harmful toxins, produces very little soot, and is a plentiful and renewable resource.
Over-the-top, inflatable decorations are regrettably becoming more popular each year. To make these figures stand up there is an electric motor in each of them running constantly, and the “action inflatables” use even more energy than the regular ones. When electrical grids are already being pushed to their limits during the holidays, is a 20 foot Santa waving while riding a Harley on the roof really necessary? Also, if it breaks or you eventually don’t want it anymore, there will be a huge petroleum-based addition to the landfill.
It’s much more mindful and tasteful to decorate with a few LED lights, a wreath, and soy candles glowing in the window. I’ve just got a string of lights hung around the deck, and it brightens my evenings.
Oldies are Still Goodies
When you’re done with them, don’t throw your decorations away to end up in a landfill.
Donations are always accepted at second hand stores especially if you donate them before the holidays so it’s in season for those shopping. A church or organization could be able to put them to good use for their own holiday events. You could even set up a decoration swap night with friends where you can trade ornaments. Get creative and think up ideas to recycle or reuse them in new ways.
How do you decorate for the holidays?
PS – If you want to check out what I’ve been listening to, this is my Spotify Christmas playlist. What’s your favourite Christmas music?