Eco Friendly Holiday Decorating That Won’t Trash The Planet

Check out these eco friendly holiday decorating tips – so you can decorate your home for the holidays without creating unnecessary waste that is bad for the environment.
Eco-Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips Are you the type who loves to go all out with holiday decorating – the Christmas tree, the lights indoors and out, figurines, holiday dishes and everything? Or are you more of minimalist – keeping your holiday décor basic and simple? Personally, I’m somewhere in between. While I love the holiday traditions and special ornaments to put out every year, I don’t love clutter or excessive decorating. And while I enjoy the twinkling lights that brighten up the dark winter nights, I’m not a fan of gaudy holiday inflatables or crazy light displays!
Whatever your holiday decorating style, there’s one thing we should all agree on – finding a way to reduce waste from holiday decorations and wrapping. Every year, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the amount of trash produced in the United States increases by about 25%, or about 1 million extra tons per week? [1] Bottom line: the holiday season is NOT a good thing for the environment. Yet, every store you visit at this time of year – be it gift stores, drug stores, grocery stores, warehouse stores, or home improvement stores – they all think we need MORE HOLIDAY STUFF!! Can you relate? Are you a little overwhelmed with all.the.stuff. in every store? Are you ready to be more mindful with your holiday decorating this year?

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Glass ornament & eco-friendly holiday decorations

Eco Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips

Here are a few ideas to help you step back from the BUY, BUY, BUY mentality and still be able to decorate your home in eco-friendly holiday style!

Get Natural

Nature provides a bounty of free decorating materials – we just need to remember to use them! Think pine cones, evergreen boughs, holly berries, citrus fruit and fresh mistletoe. I even throw in stones, bark, shells and wood on my mantel!

Go Handmade

No need to spend a bunch of money to make a home look pretty for the holidays. If you are in need of ideas, check out this list of 32 eco-friendly homemade ornament ideas or these homemade holiday garlands. Now get busy!! (or if DIY is not your thing, buy handmade ornaments and holiday decor on Etsy!)

Eco Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips | Mindful Momma

Raid Grandma’s Attic

You never know what you might find in those dusty boxes up in the attic. You could very well find some gorgeous heirloom decorations! Some of our most precious holiday decorations are those that have been passed down from the generations.

Shop Thrift

Why buy something brand-spankin’ new when you can find loads of cute holiday decorations at thrift, consignment and antique stores. Be sure to check Craigslist and eBay too! I’m partial to vintage glass ornaments myself!

Less is More

It’s easy to get caught up in the decorating madness and buy a whole bunch of new decorations each year because they’re cute or on sale. In my humble opinion, simple and straightforward is much better than gaudy and packed to the gills. I usually buy one or two special ornaments or decorations a year and leave it at that.  No ceramic holiday teapots around here!

Eco-Friendly Holiday Decorating

Reuse! Reuse! Reuse!

It kills me when I hear of people doing a whole new themed Christmas tree each year. What do they do with the old stuff? Besides, part of the fun is pulling out all those special decorations that go on the tree year after year. For me, reusing is the only way to go! (Speaking of reusable – skip the wasteful wrapping paper, and try these reusable, eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas too!)

What strategies do you use to make your holiday decorating more eco-friendly?

  [1] Source: ; If you liked this post, you may enjoy my post about Mindful Shopping Techniques too!


  1. Hey I understand Michelle. You've got to do what works for you and your family. I hope you are able to enjoy the holiday season in your own special way!


  2. Clint Rowley says:

    I really like your list of “green” decorating tips. I think that the using nature idea is great. I love when people decorate with natural items that can be found outside all around you.

  3. Michelle @Special Mom Space says:

    I’m so very bad. I have not done any decorating and don’t think I will this year. I spend it at my mom’s anyway. I just feel a little overwhelmed so I’m going to deprioritize decorating 🙁

  4. I hope this year to find a potted Christmas tree to decorate and then plant in the ground when we are done with the holiday!

  5. That's such a great idea Vanessa! We have never done that – but it's perfect if you want a small tree!


  6. Do people really get all new tree ornaments every year? I’ve been collecting ornaments since I was a teenager. Seeing them on the tree and the memories behind them is my favorite part of the holiday!

  7. What great suggestions. If we had a tree I would certainly try to reuse what we already had from years past. I like your suggestion to raid grandma’s attic. How meaningful to decorate your tree with things from past generations. We don’t have a tree so I guess we are very green by default!

  8. ohkeeka [The Type A Housewife] says:

    I’m doing a lot of handmade gifts this year–handmade soap, candles, candies, cookies. But I didn’t really think about handmade decorating! Definitely like the idea of going natural–there’s nothing like a fresh evergreen bough or wreath!

  9. Lori – yes just think of all those decorations you don't have to buy! Of course, none of us have to buy decorations, but it's so easy to get caught up in tradition!


  10. Wow – good for you making all those homemade gifts Kiersten! I've never made soap before – it's been on my list for a long time. Will you post about it?


  11. Hey Lisa (Condo Blues) – I've read about people who do new themed trees each year – but I can't imagine that many people really do it. That's totally absurd in my opinion!

  12. I just blogged about using some of my parents’ old ornaments and an old ceramic tree that was my grandparents’ for Christmas decor – “Raiding Grandma’s Attic” is the way to go!!

  13. Elisabeth – So glad to hear you are using old family decorations too! They are the most special!

  14. My decorations include: hundreds of mini lights, 36 stained glass pieces I “made” in a craft phase, some silver balls, and all the ornaments my kids made in preschool and grade school 25+ years ago. Christmas makes me nostalgic and I especially love when the kids come home to deck the halls and trim the tree.

  15. Love that you kept all your kids handmade ornaments Velma. So sweet!

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