Co. Wicklow, Ireland

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Zero Waste Christmas Decorations

December 6, 2017

I love this time of year for the atmosphere the decorations bring, although I'm not a huge fan of all the waste and the buying of copious new decorations. Last year I made some orange slices and cinnamon sticks but I can't find large quantities in recyclable packaging this year and the oranges seemed like such a waste, with loads of hours in the oven and then just thrown away after Christmas. This year I'm going back to basics and using most things that can be used from year to year. I'm keeping the decorations simple, natural and low waste. I'll focus here on the tree, the mantelpiece/fireplace and the door wreath. 

 

Christmas Tree:

There are so many options here. I saw one person made their tree out of an old ladder and hung baubles out of it. If you like a more traditional tree yet don't want to have one chopped down just for Christmas, then a nice choice is to buy a potted tree. It will be smaller but oh so cute. Make sure to keep it watered and after Christmas plant it in the garden or a nearby forest. Years ago my partner and I drove for an hour to find a suitable spot to plant our tree and it was a great fun day out!

 

You can find cones under pine trees. These make perfect baubles and will last a lifetime. I painted some and left others untouched. Tie a bit of twine to the end and you're done.

You can also find things around the house that can be up cycled into baubles, like these wicker balls I had lying around. Use your imagination and have fun being creative.

Instead of tinsel you can make garlands out of nuts and popcorn. All you need is a needle and thread. I find walnuts and almonds the best for piercing. Make your popcorn in a pot and just alternate between nuts and corn on the string. Always tie the string to the tree to keep them from falling.

When Christmas is over you can give the garlands to the birds.

 Instead of ribbon you can recycle old potato sacks made out of burlap which is plant based. Cut into strips and tie bows on the tree.

 LED lights are an energy efficient, eco friendly choice. Make sure to buy a set that have a plug instead of wasting batteries.

They should last a lifetime and make everything look really pretty.

 

Fireplace:

 My neighbour has a Christmas tree farm and I was able to collect loads of fallen branches of evergreen. You can find some evergreens in a forest and take some clippings or if you don't live near a forest just collect anything green in the garden!

 

Cut off the foliage on one side of the branch so that you can lay it flat on the mantelpiece. You will reuse the leftover branches later.

 Place some LED lights along and finish off with some cones.

Simple and effective.

 

Christmas Wreath:

 I got some willow branches from a friend and turned it into a circular shape. This basic wreath shape should last you a lifetime.

 All you need is some evergreen branches or any greenery and fill up the circle making it as full as possible. Use some twine if needed.

Bring it all together with some burlap.

Hang it on the door with some wire and an 'over the door' hook.

 

These are my zero waste, minimalist and natural Christmas decorations. Get creative and rummage around in nature to find suitable supplies.

 

Have fun and keep it simple!

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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