Okay, we’re ready for the holidays to be in full swing now. We’ve resisted long enough. It is officially the most wonderful time of the year (and with Thanksgiving so late this year, we don’t have much time) – so let’s talk festive decorating!
Tree time. Whether you call it a Christmas tree, Hanukkah bush, or Kwanzaa shrub, you first have to decide whether you want a real one or you’re up for a new unconventional even more sustainable tree. You can make just about anything into a Christmas tree – books, recycled cardboard, shoeboxes. But all in all, it’s relatively easy to be sustainable here. A real tree will biodegrade. And if you’re ambitious enough, you can even compost it yourself! Otherwise, check locally, as most cities will recycle your tree for you.
Sustainable DIY Decorating. Anything DIY is a great way to engage your kids or invite your friends over with an excuse to have a holiday drink – or both (invite your friends with kids and the kids can craft and you can kibitz!). There are so many ideas out there for DIY ornaments you can easily get bogged down.
One of our favorites is the repurposing of old CDs and DVDs. With the advent of electronic files and streaming media, CDs are all but obsolete and they are made of hard shiny plastic. While they can be recycled, recycling in the United States for most cities has become an issue, so if you’ve got a pile of them that are collecting dust consider using them for your tree. We especially love this one and this one (but this last one involves cutting up the CDs so be careful with your young ones)!
And nothing is more sustainable than the classic popcorn/cranberry garland. Fishing wire, white popcorn, fresh cranberries (be sure to only use the firm ones!), and your own secret ratio (we like four popcorn two cranberry, but that’s just us!). It’s beautiful and simple and when you take your tree down you can strip the fishing wire and compost the materials!
Keeping it all clean. If you opted for the real tree, you’re going to have needles falling off from time to time. Keep your Clean Team handy so you can sweep up the stray needles and consider leaving your Tiny Team under the tree for the kids to help do the same. There’s something strangely satisfying about sweeping underneath the tree. Maybe it’s that delightful pine smell…