Sustainable Swaps for Disposable Holiday Decor


It's time to deck the halls (sustainably).

The holiday season is a time of great cheer–but can also be a time of great waste. Many holiday decorations are designed to be disposed come January, adding piles of tinsel, ornaments, and wrapping paper to our landfills. This year, embrace holiday cheer with sustainable swaps for disposable decorations. Here are a few ways to enjoy your favorite holiday decorating traditions, sustainable style!

Display Items You Already Have

Wool Dryer Balls

Before purchasing decor, look at what you already have in your home. Is it possible to arrange and style items you already own to fit the season? Perhaps you have some festive mugs that are dying to be displayed, or your child’s penguin toy becomes part of a winter wonderland. There are endless ways to decorate when you get creative. Why not display your wool dryer balls artfully in a basket? You can even add a few drops of essential oil or spray them with Revitalizing Mist to keep your home beautifully scented. Our Forest Air scent is particularly festive!

Replace Tinsel with DIY Garlands

Dried Orange Wreath Supplies

Most plastic tinsels are made from PVC, which is both toxic and nearly impossible to recycle. This year, consider decking the halls with a more environmentally-friendly garland! Sliced lemons and oranges dried in the oven make your house smell delicious and create a charming garland that can be reused or composted. You can also create an edible garland by threading popcorn and cranberries, or have a DIY moment with the classic paper chain. Use recycled paper, wrapping paper scraps, or old newspapers for extra eco-friendly points!

Opt for LED Lights

LED String Lights

Who doesn’t love a string of lights? Whether you’re decorating a tree or outside your house, opt for LED lights instead of incandescents. LEDs use up to 75% less energy and last 25 times as long, making them better for the earth and for your wallet. If you’re doing a lot of outdoor decorating, you can also try solar powered lights! Your house will sparkle sustainably.

Make Your Own Ornaments

DIY Ornaments

DIY Ornaments have gotten an upgrade! There are many fun, chic ways to create your own ornaments. For supplies, go back to basics with recycled cardboard (our boxes, with their flat smooth sides, are a great place to start!) Trace and cut out shapes, and then decorate with supplies of your choosing. Not only will you end up with some unique and incredible ornaments, but it’s a great activity for the whole family to enjoy together! 

Try a Reusable Advent Calendar

Wooden Advent Calendar

As a child, I loved running to the advent calendar each morning to find a new surprise. If this is a family tradition of yours, consider buying or making a wooden, reusable advent calendar rather than repurchasing paper ones. A reusable advent calendar will be treasured for years to come. Bonus: you can put whatever items you’d like inside! 

Invest in Quality

Hanging Star Decorations

There’s nothing wrong with buying holiday decorations and instilling your home with cheer. Rather than buying cheap decorations that will fall apart after a single season, invest in higher quality pieces that you love and will use year after year. If it brings you joy and stays out of the landfill, it’s worth it! You can even pass these items down through your family and create a beloved new holiday tradition.