I had to take a step back and focus on my mental health for a little bit, but I am back and ready to share with you some more zero waste tips and tricks I have been learning these past few weeks!
With the holiday season in full swing, I am bringing this blog back with a post on decorating. You do not have to forgo decorating for the holidays in order to be zero waste; in fact, there are tons of ways to buy and use sustainable décor to make your home festive and fun!
First, when shopping for decorations, I like to purchase handmade items first. I will order from Etsy, or buy from a local business in my area before ordering something mass produced on Amazon. Another option would be to buy from stores that have minimal-to-no packaging, like at Home or Christmas Tree Shops. These stores have tons of cute décor items for all seasons and holidays that have no packaging, so you can bring your own bag with you to shop and the only waste you produce is a sticker or tag from each item. That is way less than ordering something online or buying from a store that will have items completely wrapped in plastic.
I also like to buy sustainable decorations. By that, I mean decorations that will last a long time. This means spending a little more sometimes, but your décor items will last you forever, versus buying something cheap that could break easily and form waste. For instance, I am obsessed with pumpkin decorations. I bought a few this year, but made sure to buy pumpkins that were made out of cotton that are soft and sewn because they won’t break and will last me forever.
Another way to be sustainable is to use compostable decorations. On our porch for the fall season, we put up a hay bale with pumpkins and gourds to be festive. We composted the hay and pumpkins when we were finished with them, and are currently drying out the gourds in our shed to see if we can preserve them to use again next year.
For our winter decorations, I have done the same thing- purchased long-lasting decorations made from sustainable materials, like cotton or wood, that are going to be difficult to break, easy to repair, and will last a really long time. We have an artificial Christmas tree, which we bought a few years ago and plan to also keep for as long as possible. We have not ventured into outdoor lights for our house just yet, but I plan to purchase used or previously owned lights from someone online rather than new ones from a store when we are ready to make that move. When in doubt, you can always check your local online yard sales, Facebook marketplace, or a Buy Nothing group to give someone’s unwanted decorations a new home and save them from becoming trash.
I also like to make homemade decorations. I have upcycled wine glasses and bottles to make both fall and winter decorations, and I included photos of these at the bottom of the post. I also made our Christmas stockings out of some material that I already had from a previous sewing project.
There are so many ways that you can sustainably decorate your home. It helps keep the joy in the holiday season, all while doing as little damage as possible to the environment.