6 Sustainable Decor Ideas for the Holidays

The holidays are one of the merriest times of year, but they can also be one of the most environmentally wasteful. Between un-recyclable wrapping paper, plastic snow and tinsel, major food waste, carbon-intensive traveling and artificial trees, Mother Nature probably isn’t a big fan of the Yuletide season.

But this time of year doesn’t have to be such an environmental disaster. When it comes to decorating your interior, it’s easy to go sustainable. Plus, it’s way more affordable than buying decor from the store!

To get you started, here are six ideas for ditching plastics and bringing a little sustainability into your holiday decorations.

1. Use branches.

Find some nice branches—birch works beautifully—that you can use to decorate your mantle or tables. You can set them amongst other natural decor or bundle them into a vase and string them up with fairy lights.

When out harvesting, the branches you choose should be dry, insect-free, and in good condition. If you can, pick up branches that have fallen on the ground rather than stealing from living trees.

2. Light some candles.

Candles set the ambience for any special occasion. Load up on natural soy, coconut or beeswax candles for a clean-burning visual delight. If you’re super crafty, you might even try making your own beeswax candles or scented soy wax candles at home!

Christmas lantern

3. Decorate with pinecones and nuts.

Pinecones and nuts are holiday staples, so if you have access, why not load your centerpieces with them? You could even paint your pinecones or nuts with an eco-friendly paint—just be sure to prepare them properly.

4. Hang winterberries, mistletoe or holly.

Collect a few branches of hardy local berries to decorate your home. Not only do they add a pop of festive color, but they are cheap and pretty easy to forage.

Winterberries are a staple on the East coast, but varieties of holly bushes grow all across North America.

5. Bundle dried grasses.

Collect some cattails or beautiful amber grains from a local pond or field. Tie a big red bow around them and you have some festive decor—perfect for spreading festive, plastic-free cheer throughout your home.

Christmas composition. Gift, christmas decoration, cypress branches, pine cones. Flat lay, top view

6. Make your own ornaments.

Instead of buying cheap plastic ornaments to fill out your tree, why not make your own? Try cutting paper snowflakes or hanging small items from around your house that have special meaning to you I have a few keychains, necklaces, and small toys that look great on my holiday tree.

If you’re crafty, knit, felt, carve or sculpt your own ornaments. Even edible ornaments like gingerbread people, dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cranberry beads and popcorn strings work great.

While you can totally invest in a few special ornaments that speak to you, try making the majority of your ornaments each year. It’s a lot more fun and makes your tree uniquely reflective of YOU!

Looking for other ways to make your holidays more sustainable? Eat plant-based, get a tree from a sustainable and responsible tree farm, and reuse old bags and newspaper as gift wrap (with some festive doodles and decorations, of course).

How will you celebrate the holidays in sustainable style this year? Share your ideas with the community in the comments section below!  

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Images via Getty


Vincent T
Vincent T13 days ago

thank you

Melanie S

Great ides!

Richard B
Richard B23 days ago

thank you for sharing

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson27 days ago

Thank you.

Ingrid A
Past Member about a month ago

Thank you

Gino C
Past Member 2 months ago

Thank you very much

Maria P
Maria P2 months ago

Thanks for posting

David C
David C2 months ago


hELEN h2 months ago


Kathy K
Kathy K2 months ago