Your Eco-Friendly Holiday Guide With DIY Decor Ideas, Sustainable Tips and More
Though the holiday season remains a favorite time of year for many, what is changing is how we celebrate and decorate. As newer generations prioritize sustainability, they are also looking for ways to make their holiday celebrations more eco-friendly as well.
If you want to make the holidays merry and bright, without negatively impacting the planet, this eco-friendly holiday guide can help. We’ll cover some fun, DIY, sustainable crafts and decor, offer tips on how to make your holiday more “green” this year and even provide some insights into how to instill more eco-conscious values in children during the holidays.
6 DIY Eco-Friendly Holiday Decor and Craft Ideas for Adults and Kids
1. Dried Orange Garland
A dried orange garland is a classic holiday tradition that was used long before holiday decorations started being manufactured and before they started being made of plastic. Not only is an orange garland more sustainable, but it also smells nice and is simple to make. Simply slice some oranges up and bake to dehydrate, then let them cool before you thread them onto some string.
2. Toilet Roll Tube and Popsicle Stick Snowflakes
DIY snowflakes are fun for adults and kids to create. You can make them more eco-friendly by reusing toilet paper rolls and popsicle sticks. For the toilet paper rolls, simply cut strips across the tube so you end up with a bunch of rings (about 1 cm in width). Then glue the ends of the rings together in whatever formation you like to create snowflake shapes.
For the popsicle sticks, you can leave them as is or paint them white (or any color you want). Next, you can start gluing the ends together right away or lay them out to plan out your snowflake shape first before gluing. With both the toilet tube and popsicle stick snowflakes, you can make them big or small and use them as ornaments or as decor around the house.
3. Foraged Evergreen Garland and Wreath
Nothing says “it’s the holidays” more than a big bushy garland or wreath. However, instead of buying these premade from the store, you can forage for your own greenery to make them more eco-friendly. However, be mindful, if you make a foraged garland or a foraged wreath, it will dry out, so try not to make it more than 20 days before Christmas.
Also, keep in mind some plants are poisonous and should be avoided when making your fresh holiday greenery. Mistletoe, for example, is often used for Christmas decorations, but this plant is actually toxic if ingested. So make sure the plants you are choosing from won’t be dangerous to your family or pets.
4. Rustic Twig, Leaf and Pinecone Ornaments
Rustic ornaments made from twigs, leaves and pinecones are an easy way to decorate your tree or home while being mindful of the environment. You can leave these items in their natural state and glue them together and string them up, or you can paint them to make them more festive. Leaves look pretty when painted gold or silver, for example. Just be sure to use non-toxic paints or natural dyes.
5. Sweater Stockings
Instead of going with the standard store-bought stockings that look like everyone else’s, try making your own this holiday season. A great way to do this, while being eco-conscious, is to reuse old fabric. For example, if you have any old sweaters or fleece you don’t wear anymore, instead of tossing them out, cut them up and sew them into stockings for the family.
6. Wine Cork Garland
Another fun garland you can make, if you have any wine drinkers in your house, is a cork garland. Throughout the year, or in the months leading up to the holidays, start saving up your corks. When you are ready to craft, you can leave the corks whole or cut them up, poke a hole in them, and thread them with string. You can also paint the corks, if you don’t like the natural cork coloring.
Eco-Friendly Tips to Prepare for the Holidays
The holidays can get a little crazy with all the plans and shopping, and unfortunately, this also means people tend to buy more stuff and produce more waste this time of year. But we’ve got some eco-friendly tips to help you make your holidays a little more “green” this year:
- Opt for solar-powered LED Christmas lights.
- Use homemade or organic cleaning supplies when cleaning and prepping for guests and parties.
- Get a living Christmas tree this year, instead of a fake one made of plastic.
- DIY as many of your decorations as possible, instead of buying them from the store.
- Consider homemade gifts, or shopping from smaller local businesses, instead of supporting big-name companies that generate more pollution and waste into the environment.
Food waste is another thing to be mindful of this holiday season. So much food ends up going to waste this time of year, but there are some simple ways you can minimize your food waste.
Start by being more mindful about meal planning for the right amount of people. Don’t cook more food than you need. If you have leftovers, store them properly so they will last longer or consider donating leftovers to your neighbors, a local shelter or food bank. You can also compost some of your leftovers for your garden.
Instilling Eco-Conscious Values in Children During the Holidays
Being more mindful about how you celebrate the holidays can also help you raise more eco-conscious kids. Kids are always paying close attention to what you do, but the holidays often have an even bigger impact on them, as it’s a time when core memories are created.
Getting your kids involved in eco-friendly holiday planning is a great way to spend more time with them and instill a more positive mindset. While creating your DIY crafts, for example, you can talk to them about why sustainability is important to protect the planet. Getting them involved in holiday meal planning and prepping can also help them create more positive mealtime experiences and help them develop healthier habits.
Even taking them thrift shopping for gifts or helping them make homemade gifts can teach them gift-giving isn’t about buying expensive things. Instead, it’s about the thought and effort that goes into making something special for someone you care about.
The holidays can still be a special time without negatively impacting the environment. A little effort each year can go a long way toward building a better future. Creating DIY crafts and decor is also a great way to spend time with the family and instill more positive values in your children they can carry with them as they get older.