The Best Sustainable Christmas Decorations for an Insanely Cute and Cozy Christmas

These Christmas decor ideas are not only eco-friendly, but they are also insanely cute.

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Want to incorporate more sustainable Christmas decorations into your holiday planning this year but don’t know where to start? These Christmas decor ideas are not only eco-friendly, but they are also insanely cute.

According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash in the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve than any other time of the year.

That’s 7 million pounds of wrapping paper, ribbons, and yes, even Christmas decorations.

The problem with many traditional Christmas decorations are they are single-use, made from cheap plastics, and not easily recycled. Let’s face it, many Christmas decorations are headed for the landfill.

Luckily, your Christmas decoration game does not have to suffer by going the more sustainable route. There are plenty of sustainable Christmas decorations that are insanely cute and cozy. Plus, eco-friendly decor tends to give that hygge aesthetic that is all the rage right now.

If you are looking for sustainable Christmas decorations and ideas, you have come to the right place. From stunning Christmas decoration ideas to my favorite eco-friendly decor to buy, this post will inspire you to have the coziest Christmas ever.

This post is all about sustainable Christmas decorations.

Photo by @careyscountrygarden

1. Potted Christmas Tree

Most cut Christmas trees are actually grown on small, family-run tree farms in otherwise infertile and rocky soils. Most farms replace the trees that they cut. In other words, your traditional cut Christmas tree is probably not the most unsustainable Christmas decoration, but there are alternatives for you tree-huggers out there.

Instead of a cut Christmas tree, consider a potted tree you can plant outside after it’s done its duty as holiday decor. You can definitely decorate your young tree, just be sure to use smaller bulbs if using Christmas lights, as too much heat can hurt the tree.

Recreate this sustainable Christmas decorations idea:

Buy on Lowe’s

2. Christmas Plants

If you don’t have the space for a Christmas tree, consider getting creative with indoor potted plants. I have put Christmas ornaments on my indoor potted palm, and it looked very cute.

You can even arrange your potted plants on a stool or ladder in the shape of a tree and decorate accordingly. In the same vein, there are Pinterest tutorials to create a Christmas tree out of succulents!

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sustainable christmas decorations ideas

Buy on Home Depot

3. Eco-Friendly DIY Tree Decorations

Sustainable tree decorations and garlands are easy and fun to make at home. There are several decorations you can make with food items you probably have in the fridge or pantry!

For example, try drying thinly-sliced orange or apple slices in a dehydrator or oven (on the lowest heat for about 2-3 hours). String the slices along a string to make a garland.

How To Dry Citrus Fruits

  1. Preheat oven to 200° F.
  2. Cut orange (or other citrus) slices 1/4-1/8″ thick.
  3. Place on a baking tray. I like to place an over-safe cooling rack on the baking tray to allow for the best airflow.
  4. Allow oranges (or other citrus) to dry in the oven for 2-3 hours.
  5. String along twine to make a garland or hook with wire to make each slice an individual ornament!

If you’re not feeling too crafty you can always just buy the materials, like dehydrated orange slices, to create a cozy Christmas garland that is completely biodegradable.

Recreate this sustainable Christmas decorations idea:

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4. Sustainable Christmas Tree Ornaments

Ornaments are often made from materials that can’t be recycled, and will therefore probably end up in a landfill one day. Often for more sustainable Christmas tree ornaments made from natural materials, like these cinnamon stick bundles.

After you use the cinnamon sticks as decoration, you can repurpose them in your tea or simmer them on the stovetop and allow the cozy scent of cinnamon to fill your home.

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5. Zero-Waste Christmas Candles

Most candles are made with paraffin wax, a byproduct of the petroleum industry that has been shown to release harmful chemicals like toluene and benzene. Luckily, there are other more healthy options, like soy, coconut and beeswax.

Place a beeswax votive candle in a mason jar (to be repurposed, of course!) and decorate with some foraged materials like pine and spruce for a cute DIY Christmas candle.

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Buy on Amazon

6. Sustainable Mantle Decor

Make sure your ‘stockings hung by the fire with care’ are made from sustainable materials that can be reused or recycled. One of my favorite eco-friendly textiles is linen, as it is produced with less water and chemical waste (especially if you skip the dye) than most fabrics.

Plus, these cozy linen stockings lend a beautiful minimalist vibe to your Christmas decorations.

Recreate this sustainable Christmas decorations idea:

environmentally sustainable christmas decorations

Buy on Etsy

7. Recyclable Wrapping Paper

Photo by @andreabakacs

Not all wrapping paper can be recycled. Wrapping paper that contains glitter, sequins, sparkles, foil, or plastics plastics cannot be recycled. When choosing a wrapping paper, make sure to prioritize those that can be recycled. Bonus points if the paper is both recycled and recyclable!

We love the classy, neutral look of plain, brown Kraft paper for wrapping. Dress it up with some twine and a few sprigs of spruce or a pine cone, and you have some beautifully wrapped gifts.

Recreate this sustainable Christmas decorations idea:

Buy on Amazon

8. Eco-Friendly Wrapping Paper Alternatives

Photo by @birchaffair

Of course, you could skip buying wrapping paper altogether and consider some eco-friendly wrapping paper alternatives. Try reusing wrapping paper (yes, it can be done if not torn to shreds!) using newspaper, or children’s art.

I love the look of the Japanese art of fabric wrapping called furoshiki. Try your hand at furoshiki with this beautiful hemp cloth.

Recreate this sustainable Christmas decorations idea:

Buy on Etsy

9. Sustainable Paper Tape

Just like wrapping paper, not all tape is created equal in terms of sustainability. (In fact, make sure you remove all tape from wrapping paper before you recycle! Too much tape or any ribbons and bows will render your paper non-recyclable!)

Consider paper tape in lieu of plastic tape, which can be recyclable and biodegradable.

Recreate this sustainable Christmas decorations idea:

Buy on Etsy

10. Homemade Wreath

Why buy a fake plastic wreath when you can make a beautiful, natural one yourself?

We love the cozy, minimalist vibe of these hoop wreaths. Creating one for yourself is as simple as using craft wire to attach greenery like pine or spruce to an embroidery or macrame ring.

Recreate this sustainable Christmas decorations idea:

Buy on Amazon

11. Eco-friendly Table Setting

Go Scandinavian with your sustainable table setting, and incorporate natural materials like boughs of pine and cranberries for a pop of color.

In lieu of disposable plates we love handmade ceramic dinnerware for a cozy feel. Also, we love linen, so be sure to pick up some linen napkins.

Recreate this sustainable Christmas decorations idea:

Buy on Etsy

12. DIY Christmas Garlands

Save your money on plastic decorations and ornaments that only see daylight once a year. Instead, decorate your home with natural garlands. Unlike tinsel and plastic baubles, these beauties are biodegradable.

You can either make them completely edible and use popcorn and cranberries, or make your own classic garlands from pine.

Recreate this sustainable Christmas decorations idea:

Buy on Amazon

13. Recyclable Paper Christmas Banner

If you’re dead set on having decorations that live in the attic and come down once a year, at least make sure they are biodegradable. For that purpose, I love paper like these Christmas banners.

This paper banner offers such a cozy vibe to a living room and would look great on a mantle.

Recreate this sustainable Christmas decorations idea:

Buy on Amazon

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I created PunkMed to write about my passions—health, sustainability, and the outdoors.


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