Many of us agree that the last three months of the year are the best. Fall festivities, family dinners, and holiday lights bring us warm memories and cheery feelings. So, whether you simply light a candle, or turn your home into a winter wonderland, there are eco-friendly alternatives to most of our favorite holiday décor. Here are some ways we can bring the outdoors in:
- Pinecones: hang them on a tree or use them as a centerpiece. Pair a bowl of pinecones with red and green apples, nuts, and a raffia bow to use as the perfect seasonal statement.
- Oranges: dried oranges are a trendy, beautiful way to create eco-friendly garland. Simply slice a handful of oranges, dehydrate them in the oven, and thread them through twine. Hang in the kitchen or in a window to add some organic color to your home.
- Branches: your local Christmas tree shop may have spare tree branches leftover from their daily cuttings. Alternatively, if you purchase a tree, you can trim the lower branches to use as décor. Couple them with candles or turn them into a wreath, these natural branches are much more environmentally friendly then the store-bought plastic ones.
- Leaves: pressed and dried leaves provide unique earthy accents to a set table or display.
- A Tree: The Christmas tree is perhaps the most iconic of the holiday décor. When it comes to the most sustainable choice, real trees take the cake. Many of us know that cutting down a tree can be bad for the environment, but most Christmas trees are not harvested from a forest. Rather, they are grown like a crop and cut seasonally to be sold during the holidays. These year-round crops provide us with oxygen, and animals with habitats. The artificial Christmas tree, however, is made of plastic and manufactured with no environmental benefits. If you opt for a fake tree, the longer you use it the more environmentally friendly it becomes. Studies say the minimum usage should be five years, but ten to twenty is ideal. The stark difference here is that once discarded, plastic trees sit in landfills for longer than our lifetime, but real trees will decay naturally back into earth.
This year has been chaotic, but for many of us nature has been a reliable stress reliever. This holiday season, we can give back to the earth by being eco-friendly decorators and avoiding plastic when possible. Us Floridians may not have “white” Decembers, but with these tips we can definitely have a “greener” one!
Photo Credit: TheMerryThought Photo Credit: StoneGable