It can be pretty hard to stay eco-friendly at Christmas. We all end up with piles of wrapping paper, plastic toy packaging, and plenty of wasted food filling our bins by the end of it. But if you’re dreaming of a greener Christmas, there are plenty of small steps you can take to be kinder to the planet this festive season. So, let’s start with how to decorate an eco-friendly Christmas tree!
CHOOSING A SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS TREE
While you might get more years of use out of an artificial tree, real trees can actually prove to be the more sustainable option to avoid the harmful plastics. When you’re buying a tree, try to find one from a local supplier, grown locally and with an FSC label – this will ensure that certain environmental standards have been reached when growing it. While the majority are dumped in the new year, you can have a look for a drop-off point where they’re recycled into wood chips for parks and woodlands. Some local councils even offer to pick up your discarded trees, so you can get to work on the rest of the Christmas clean up. Read more about the waste and locate your nearest recycling points on the gov.uk website here.
Alternatively, a growing sustainability trend is renting a tree. They take a little more work as you have to ensure you’re looking after it well – so perhaps this isn’t one for the not-so-green-fingered. However, keeping the trees alive mean they can be used again next year, and they’ll be looked after by the professionals in between festivities. Have a look for a local farm offering this service, where some will even deliver your tree and pick it up, before replanting it after the Christmas period.
ECO-FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS
While some choose a new colour scheme every year for the tree, a more eco (and budget!) friendly option is investing in some classic styles, which you can add to with a few accent pieces each year. Fair Trade, handmade decorations are best, crafted from recycled and sustainable materials wherever possible – and wouldn’t you know it, we’ve got a round-up of decorations that check all those boxes right here for you.
This charming set of 3 decorations comes with a star, a heart, and a Christmas tree, each lovingly hand stitched with a snowflake motif by artisans at one of the leading felt producers in Nepal. Both the red and white felt is crafted from naturally dyed merino wool. When the wool is compressed with heat and moisture, the fibres entangle, and the beautifully soft material is created.
Our Recycled Newspaper Angel is an adorable addition to your tree. Expertly crafted from recycled newspaper with a hand painted face, she both reduces waste and cuts down on the use of unsustainable materials. While she makes a great ornament, for smaller trees she’s just large enough to be used as a tree topper. And at less than £6, she also makes a perfect little gift for friends, neighbours, or the office secret Santa.
Whatever theme you’re going for for the tree this year, baubles are always a classic staple. Our recycled glass baubles are a great addition to most colour schemes, painted with a metallic silver paint in a slightly distressed design, for a charmingly rustic look. With 5 different shapes to choose from, there are larger and smaller sizes to accommodate the size of your tree. We love the delicately hand painted design on the Set of Three Antique Glass Snowflake Baubles, and the detailed glass design on the Set of Three Antique Effect Glass Oval Baubles.
For a more personal touch, our favourite decorations are our hanging photo frames. Available in 4 different colours (gold, rose gold, silver, and antique silver) and each with coloured ribbon or metallic cord to hang on, you can pop photos, patterned wrapping paper, or even pressed flowers inside the frames to create your own unique ornaments. The Alia range of frames also come in different shapes, with square and hexagon frames to choose from too. We love how they look layered together! And as they’re handmade from recycled glass and metal, they’re as sustainable as they are stylish.
And there you have it! However you choose to decorate your tree this year, there are loads of small steps you can take to keep your festivities Fair Trade and planet friendly. Throughout the Christmas season we’ll be sharing more of our favourite tips.
MORE ECO-FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS TREE INSPIRATION
If you’re in need of a few more ideas before you get to work on your tree this year, we’ve collected a Pinterest board of tree decorating inspiration here. You’ll find plenty of different styles, colour schemes, and craft ideas to make your tree special. Or you can take a look at our own tree decorating edit, where you’ll find all of the decorations mentioned in this post, along with a few more. And when you’re done, we’d love it if you shared your creation with us on Instagram at @paperhighuk. Happy decorating!