10 eco-friendly Christmas decorations your home needs

Have you started decorating your home yet? Whether you’re eager with your decorations or you like to leave them slightly later in the month, we’ve got the ultimate list for every decoration your home needs to feel festive – and they’re all eco-friendly! Say goodbye to plastic decorations that last a year or two, these are built to last. Some are made from repurposed materials like recycled glass baubles, some contain sustainable materials and some you can compost after you’re done. Perfect for an eco-friendly Christmas.

1. Recycled glass baubles 

Baubles are so problematic. It’s far too easy to pick up a pack of 12 plastic ones and then swap them out the following year because there’s a new ‘theme’. They’re also poorly made, so often don’t survive the 11 months of storage with colour flaking off, ribbons snapping or cracking altogether. Simply because they’re cheaper we tend to take less care of them. So it’s time to invest in baubles that are eco-friendly and pretty. 

We suggest recycled glass baubles. Using recycled glass means your product is removing waste from landfills and instead giving it a new life. Also, have you seen a glass bauble hanging in a tree before? They’re beautiful! Glass baubles have a shimmer that creates a real festive ambience. You can get coloured glass baubles or stay traditional with clear ones. Some recycled glass baubles will deliberately have flakes put in them so that they still create the festive snowy look. A simple online search for recycled glass baubles should suffice. Although, there are some glass baubles for sale through our eco shop which you can find on the rewards section of your Greenredeem account.  

2. Dried orange slices 

There’s just something about a dried orange slice that screams festiveness to us. What we love is that they have so many uses. You can pop them on the Christmas tree, add them to door wreaths, or even make a garland from them. They’re so versatile and they’re compostable! Which means no waste. You can grab a few from your local farmers market to help a small business but you can also do a little research to see if any are grown nearby. There are some places in the UK that grow oranges, meaning you can reduce the carbon footprint of your decorations. 

All you need to do is grab your fruit, slice it to about 1cm thick and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Set the oven to 120C and cook for 45mins-1hour. Alternatively, you can use your air fryer for efficiency and cook them in half the time! Make as many as you like and decorate accordingly. 

3. Sustainable beeswax candles 

Don’t get us wrong – we love a candle! But Christmas is a time of year when plenty of brands launch their Christmas scents, which smell great, but they’re not eco-friendly. If we’re going to burn something, we want it to do more than smell good, we want it to be sustainable too. Which is why we source sustainable beeswax candles.

We know how precious our bees are, so we don’t want to be taking away their products unless it’s truly sustainable. Five Bees Yard are 3rd generation beekeepers who keep their products 100% natural and always with their bees welfare in mind. You can grab advent calendar candles, table decoration candles or if you’re looking for a gift – a self-care candle selection designed for 20 minutes burning and relaxation. 

4. Pinecone garlands 

If you’re thinking of using pine cones in your Christmas decorations get collecting now! They started falling from the trees in September but will continue to do so in December. Why not take a winter walk through some woodland to see if you can find a tree. Bring your reusable tote bag with you and get collecting. 

Use your pine cones to create a garland by using string to bring them together. It’s a simple look and is very effective and festive. If you’ve got enough garlands in your home, you can always grab a few and pop them in a bowl or even decorate your tree with them. After you’re done with them, you can pop them on your compost heap or alternatively, take them back to where you found them and let nature do the rest – that’s if you haven’t decorated them in any way (return them how you found them). 

5. Natural wreaths 

Are you a fan of Christmas if your front door doesn’t have a wreath? It’s a signal to everyone that you are feeling festive and to be honest, it’s our favourite Christmas decoration – even more loved than recycled glass baubles. There are so many to choose from, florists create some great ones, you can get kits to make your own or even go to wreath making classes. Head down to your local craft shop, grab some garden wire and get creative! You can grab bits from your garden – or even a couple of pinecones from your winter walk.  

6. EcoTinsel  

Tinsel has been problematic for years. It’s plastic, falls apart and lasts maybe two years before it’s discarded and replaced with more plastic. We’ve been struggling to find a suitable festive replacement. String, beads, none of it was the same. But this year, we found EcoTinsel

It’s 100% recyclable, made from recycled materials and is handmade by the ultimate husband and wife team – determined to remove plastic and PVC tinsel from landfills everywhere. We love it. The materials – although not filled with glitter and plastic – still feel bright, exciting and festive. Over 1,000 handmade cuts are made on these EcoTinsel pieces and each comes with a storage box so it doesn’t get squished and ruined during storage. 

7. Christmas tree options 

The Christmas tree. The pinnacle of decorations but how can you make it eco-friendly? Well. There’s been plenty of debate. Is it good to remove a tree from the earth for a month? Do we reuse our Christmas trees long enough to have an artificial one? Or should we stray from all traditions and go for an alternative tree? We’ll let you decide based on these pros and cons. 

  1. Renting a tree – We feel like this is a great option, dig up your tree, preserve it white you decorate it with your recycled glass baubles and then return it back to the tree farm afterwards. The perfect scenario – the only issue it – this isn’t widely available in the UK. 
  1. Buy a real tree – Now, the carbon footprint of removing a tree from the planet significantly decreases as long as you dispose of it correctly. 16kg CO2e is released when you throw it away, but if you find a local collection to pop it in a chipper and reuse it, this can drop as low as 3kg. The only con – you will have to pay separately to dispose of it (although we think this is a minor inconvenience). 
  1. Buy an artificial tree – the carbon footprint (and water footprint) of your artificial tree can be lower than a real tree but you need to keep it for roughly 9 years. For some people, that’s easy – we’ve known people keep their tree for 20+ years. But it’s a commitment, so be aware of that before you buy. 
  1. Get creative! Can you find things in and around your home to make your own smaller decorative tree? Make a flat tree from twigs and hang it on a wall, or even larger logs and stack them on top of one another (securing them to one another and the floor for safety reasons). We’ve even seen people reuse their children’s Lego to create a Lego tree – a great idea! 

8. Handmade bunting 

We love this one, especially as kids grow older throughout the years and their festive clothes no longer fit. If you’ve got a young family, we suggest starting this one now and then in a few years’ time you’ll have plenty of festive bunting throughout your home. Grab everything you can find that’s red and green (or whatever colour scheme you have in your home).

The process is simple, cut triangles of the same size and sew them onto a long piece of string or ribbon. You can add more pieces each year and even extend pieces by adding more ribbon. It can be a slow keepsake process or a quick one with a batch of old clothes that you no longer wear. We suggest reusing your old clothes to make this one more sentimental or you can rescue old Christmas jumpers from charity shops. 

9. Tree topper 

The top of the tree. Whether you’re a fan of the star or the angel, this ornament needs to be special. In most families, it is the pinnacle moment of decorating, bestowed upon the most deserving family member, the best behaved child or simply the person who can reach. If you’re looking for a Christmas topper, there are eco-friendly items which are stunning – not just plastic and glitter filled options. 

We’ve found funky knitted Santa hat toppers, recycled paper Angels (which you can get a 10% discount on through the rewards section on our site) and even a wooden star made from sustainable and recycled wood which you assemble yourself.

10. Window decorations 

Window decorations aren’t as common as they were in the early 00s but if you’re considering them, step away from the sticky plastic – your window doesn’t need it! Instead, decorate your window with something else. Even snow in a can is better than window stickers because you can recycle the can afterwards. But if you’re looking for something truly sustainable, take a look at these ideas. 

Spend an afternoon with your children making origami paper stars and then hang them from the curtain rail at different heights for a festive look. Make doily snowflakes and attach them with glue dots. Alternatively, keep it simple with some hanging glass baubles and fairy lights that you already have in your home – you could find some battery operated lights to save on your energy bills throughout the darker months. 

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