An Eco-Friendly Guide To Decorating Your Home For Christmas

By Ellie Smith

7 months ago

Green swaps to make this festive season


There’s nothing like a few Christmas decorations to get you feeling festive – but, like everything, it’s important to be mindful of how these affect the planet. From swapping to reusable crackers to using LED lights on your tree, there are lots of simple ways you can cut your carbon footprint while still ensuring your home looks the part. Read on for our guide to eco-friendly Christmas decorating, brought to you in partnership with eBay.

10 Top Tips For Eco-Friendly Christmas Decorating

1. Get crafty with your tablescapes

Holly Congdon, Director at B Corp certified catering company Lettice Events, advises: ‘to be a more sustainable host don’t buy more name holders you will end up throwing away: use what you have. We’re going to be decorating this year with the best of the veg. Our place names are going to be made up of a deck of cards and slotted into some apples.’

Christmas Tablescapes

Paula Sutton, who runs interiors account Hill House Vintage, adds: ‘When it comes to the Christmas tablescaping, I like to start with one colour and then layer in metallic to create the festive feel. I always use several vintage candlesticks – I have far too many. For place settings, I like to tie craft paper labels to a sprig of holly, it can be fun to create your own personalised place setting cards using stamps or illustrations.’

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2. Forage for decorations in your garden

Sutton says: ‘I’m always inspired to bring in lots of things from the garden for decorating – holly, yew, and anything which has fallen. I’m definitely head tree decorator of the family, but I tend to do the mantlepiece a few weeks before, layering it up with branches, leaves and ivy crawling up the walls. I love the idea of festive, Dickensian decay – it’s lush and romantic, but so natural. Each year I create paper bows and I collect ribbons throughout the year from presents and packages which I tie on the tree branches.’

Close up of cloth cracker on a set plate

3. Use reusable crackers

Throwaway crackers are a nightmare for the planet – but now there are plenty of reusable ones out there. As Lucy Johnson, founder of sustainable lifestyle consultancy Green Salon, points out: ‘Did you know that you can get reusable crackers that you can use year after year? It’s one way of sparing the planet a few more crackers to add to the 40 million or so that end up in the bin on Christmas Day.’

4. Source an eco-friendly Christmas tree

Though it may come as a surprise, real Christmas trees actually have less impact on the environment than artificial ones. When you’re buying a real tree, be careful to look out for the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) stamp, to ensure that your tree has been grown with respect to its surrounding environment and without impacting the habitats of local wildlife and birds. A quick way to source a sustainably-grown Christmas tree locally is to use the BCTGA’s postcode tracker. Find out more about this in our guide to buying an eco-friendly tree.

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5. Or use a wooden one

Alternatively, swap the tree for a reusable alternative, such as a twig tree ornament, a natural wooden tree, or a rustic hanging decoration. 

6. Decorate your houseplants

Got a few houseplants already? Give them a festive makeover by adding some twinkling fairy lights or a bauble or too. 

7. Switch to LED Christmas lights.

These consume far less energy than traditional ones, which means they’re better for the planet – and won’t rack up big costs on your electricity bill.

Christmas wreath on blue door

(c) Jes Timms, Unsplash

8. Choose a natural wreath

A beautiful wreath adds a lovely festive touch to any door or table, but make sure you’re choosing a real, fresh one made with seasonal foliage – rather than one stuffed with plastic decorations. You could also have a go at making your own at one of the many wreath-making classes around.

9. When it comes to decorating your tree, opt for planet-friendly baubles

Look out for reusable ones made of responsibly sourced wood or felt, or products made from recycled materials.

10. Shop consciously and buy pre-loved

If you are buying new, be sure to shop pre-loved or from brands with strong eco-friendly credentials. Here are some ideas from eBay.

Real Fresh Traditional Classic Christmas Wreath,

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