In the UK we spend an average of £50 million on new Christmas decorations every year. And that doesn’t even include real trees. It is time for an Eco Christmas!
We all want our home to sparkle with Christmas magic every year – and that means ringing the changes from last festive season. However, buying a whole new matching set of decorations and lights every year is pretty hard on the planet – and the purse strings!
We’re not denying it’s nice to have one or two new decorations every year but when you can’t lift the bauble box down from the attic, you know it’s time to stop!
Rather than starting from scratch, look out the decorations you have nice and early, lay them all out on the floor and construct a new theme from the pretty things you already own. If you see a motley assortment of colours, for example, then just pick out those that fit in with one of this year’s trends and supplement them with one or two homemade extras.
Make paper garlands that can be recycled after the festivities. Even better, use recycled wrapping paper to make them. You can download Christmas decoration templates from various online sites (just Google Christmas templates). We particularly like the snowflake ones on marthastewart.com.
Rather than buying glass baubles, buy or make some lovely sweets to hang on the tree. Wrap them in sparkly Cellophane and ribbon so you can tie them to the branches. They’ll all be eaten by Boxing Day, meaning no waste to throw away.
Use white candles – or tea lights in jam jars – to give a festive glow. You can enjoy them twinkling, safe in the knowledge they won’t take up any cupboard space or end up in landfill once they’re burned. You can re-use the jam jars in summer filled with sand and blue candles to create a sunshiny seaside theme.
Fresh & Fragrant
Plant material is totally biodegradable and there’s nothing to store. Fresh greenery gives a really classy look to your Christmas day table.
Spread ivy along the middle of an oblong table – just like a runner – or wind stems of ivy and/or holly into a circular centrepiece for a round table.
Decorate your home with flowers! Blooms now reliably last for 7-10 days, so go on a bouquet-buying spree in the week before Christmas and fill your home with red roses and carnations or white gerberas and gypsophila.
Growing plants look great, too. Cyclamen are the new poinsettias, apparently.
Words: Sally Hampton