An Eco-White Holiday

Has global warming put the kibosh on the predictability of a blanket of white fluff where you live? It’s easy to bring home that snowy feeling this holiday. Start a new tradition and design an enchanted winter white eco-holiday theme this year.

I get nostalgic each year when I unpack the boxes of holiday decorations and linens. It’s kind of like flipping through scrapbooks of my family. There’s the old ornaments from my husband’s Christmases past that have been passed down from generation to generation. There are all the new traditions we created together as a family, like the homemade candles my children made and decorated when they were young. Even pets long gone are represented in photos and ornaments. Each year we add to these rich traditions.

This year I’m pulling out of the boxes everything white. Why white? Beyond the snowy obvious, white decorating is an eco-alternative color to all that red and green. Buying or creating white decorations are cheaper because of the generic qualities of being able to use and reuse the decorations throughout the winter. Organic undyed table linens tend to be less toxic and less processed because the organic fibers are free of chemical dyes and pesticides, making them a much healthier alternative.

In my home, I tend to keep the overload of holiday decorating to a minimum, but I love a festive table that uses sustainable products without sacrificing style. I approach interior design projects like home fashion. You “dress up” for holiday parties and you “dress up” your home to in a similar festive manner.

Consider giving red and green a rest this year. Here’s some ideas to play “dress up” with and create a rustic, eco-chic white holiday table:

1. Try a white organic hemp tablecloth, napkins, placemats or table runner.

2. With a table full of kids (or children at heart), you might want to ditch the fancy white linen and cover your table with white recyclable craft paper. Let your artists decorate a winter white theme with beeswax crayons.

3. I like to use real silverware, but bamboo flatware is renewable, reusable and it has a nice natural look.

4. White LED tealights in white glass candle holders, flameless candles and solar lights illuminate a holiday table nicely, as do white beeswax candles.

5. Organic white flowers are beautiful. The even greener alternative would be to get paperwhite narcissus bulbs and plant them if the ground isn’t frozen.

6. The greenest of all decorations, and the perfect holiday table accents can come from nature. Embellish fallen branches by decorating them with glistening glass droplets rescued from old chandeliers found in second-hand stores. This adds elegance to a rustic look table.

7. Recycled glass icicle ornaments hung from your dining room light bring winter to your table.

8. Try natural balsam garlands draped with tiny LED white lights or solar Christmas tree lights.

9. Shopping for a new table and recycling the old one? Going all out eco-white? Here’s a white contemporary dining table constructed of renewable and sustainable grass and wheat boards made with non-toxic adhesives and wood finishes.

10. The holidays are about peace on Earth. Pure white origami peace doves make beautiful table decorations and are easy to create. Peace dove ornaments from fair trade sources can be purchased at Ten Thousand Villages.

The holidays! They’re here! I’m dreaming of a white …

Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.


Wini A.
Wini A9 years ago

I really like these ideas and plan to employ some of. However, I have to add a word about reuse. I haven't any new lights or decoration for many years. I just pack the old ornaments, artificial wreaths and all my lights very carefully so the last till next year. Though some glass ornaments break occasionally, I have enough that I don't need to replace every one of them.

I'd also like to put in a word for handcrafted, knitted, crocheted, cross-stitched, or any other handcraft small enough and light enough to be hung on the tree, make great ornaments. Another plus is that handcrafted ornaments can be made of scraps leftover from other projects that would otherwise be thrown away.