With autumn comes the holidays, and with the holidays comes a season of grateful reflections, peaceful moments, and heartwarming gatherings with loved ones. Unfortunately, the holiday season also comes with an increase in consumerism. Some of our favorite traditions—giving presents, hosting big meals, and decorating the house—can lead to a lot of material waste.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the season without harming the planet. Be festive and responsible with these ways to make seasonal decorations eco-friendly.
Lean Into Natural Décor
Autumn is already full of natural colors and harvest décor, so it’s easy to learn into natural elements when decorating. Avoid fake leaves and plastic cornucopias, and instead invite autumn into your home with real pumpkins and gourds. Warm-colored bouquets are another fantastic way to bring warm colors and textures into your home. If you want man-made décor, look for wood, cloth, and other sustainable materials that last a long time and are gentle on the earth once you do get rid of them.
Use Pieces That Last
A huge part of sustainability is choosing items and materials that last a long time. No matter how you decorate your home, look for sustainable materials that will hold up year after year. You can even find ways to make natural décor last longer. For example, paint pumpkins instead of carving them. This will keep them from rotting so that you can continue to display them throughout the season.
Another pro tip is to accent your home with dried flowers instead of fresh ones. Fresh flowers take a lot of resources to preserve and ship to stores, and they only last a few days. Dried flowers, on the other hand, don’t waste water and will stay beautiful for months with proper care.
Reuse and Regift Décor
Like all things, you can find incredible seasonal décor at thrift stores, garage sales, and other secondhand markets. Reusing pieces is one of the best ways to make seasonal decorations eco-friendly. It’s also a great way to find unique decorations that have much more character than the mass-produced options that are on every store shelf.
Finally, remember that reusing works both ways: if you’re done with a piece, hand it off to someone else rather than throwing it away. Donating or reselling décor is a great way to preserve the environment and spread that festive spirit to other people.