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Photo by: sboneham
I’m dreaming of a green Christmas… The only snow we get this time of the year comes in the form of those packing Styrofoam balls when we open some of our gifts. Not surprisingly, with all that gift buying and parties, Christmas is one of those holidays where there is plenty of excess and wastage. In Singapore, we generate over 7.5 million tons of waste in a year – that’s the equivalent weight of 45 million reindeers. Crazy!
According to the National Environment Agency, over 10% goes to food, another 10% to plastics, and a whopping 1 million ton alone goes to paper. Let’s reduce the burden on our environment, starting this Christmas. We show you how with these 10 fun and affordable eco-friendly Christmas decorations you can make at home.
Before you buy gifts, decorations, or food for your Christmas celebrations, stop and think. Do you really need to buy? What have you already got at home that can be repurposed? Here are some simple ways to celebrate an eco-friendly Christmas: Less is more when it comes to the holidays, so try to re-gift functional gifts to someone who has real use of them. Organise a round-robin gift exchange by doing a draw and have everyone give just one gift to an assigned person.
When buying gifts, avoid battery-operated items. Going homemade is the way to go as it shows your sincerity and thought, plus it is unique to boot. There are plenty of workshops and craft lessons these days. Think about the carbon footprint and buy local produce to reduce transportation. Going vegetarian, whether partially or fully, also helps. Support your local maker if they promote sustainability.
Lastly, wrap all those good gifts up using the Furoshiki method. The cloth can be reused and it eliminates the use of plastic tape and wrapping paper. To start the holiday atmosphere brewing and that green cause going, check out these 10 eco-friendly Christmas decorations:
Photo and DIY idea by: www.firefliesandmudpies.com
Need a good reason for a walk other than Pokemon Go? Gather some straight fallen twigs from your nearby park and create these simple but beautiful tree decorations. Best of all, you’ll be able to use those beautiful ribbons scraps that are too short for wrapping but too beautiful to throw away! Make scented versions of these decorations by replacing the twigs with cinnamon sticks.Perfect way to be earth-friendly!
Price This costs next to nothing to make, but if you need to buy ribbons and twine that you don’t have around the house, it’ll be about $15 to make about twenty or more, which makes each ornament less than $1 each.
Photo and DIY idea by: www.oleanderandpalm.com
The best thing about these eco-friendly Christmas decorations is the fact that they are only limited by your imagination. Okay, and maybe your cookie cutters and rubber stamps. Cut out snowman, reindeers, or Santa, or customise them with stamped initials. Properly mixed salt dough does not crumble, and has a long shelf life when kept in an airtight container.
Price This will set you back $3 for over ten ornaments only, depending on your shapes and sizes. If you need to buy the rubber stamps and cookie cutters, these can go up to about $10.
Photo and DIY idea by: Etsy (Bookity)
These hanging baubles are so easy and fast to make, and they are large enough to easily jazz up a corner of your space to welcome your holiday guests. Opt for a rustic design using pages from old books, or create festive designs using leftover wrapping paper or cardboard scraps you have around the house.
Price Recycling the books cost nothing but if you wish to buy some fancier paper, preferably recycled, this can bump it up to about $5 for ten ornaments – still affordable.
Photo and DIY idea by: www.foxhollowcottage.com
Lighting is everything when it comes to setting the mood, and twinkling candlelight offers a magical touch. If a Christmas pine tree is out of the question, you can still bring nature into your house with this twig candle holder alternative. Try dressing it up a little with ribbons.
Price It costs $17 for a set of 6 cups and glue. If you already have glass cups lying around, these lighting decorations will cost you nothing except some calories spent walking around looking for the fallen sticks. The great thing about these is that you can use them in various settings by just swapping the ribbon.
Photo and DIY idea by: www.kiflieslevendula.blogspot.sg
Still on lighting, these are a great addition to feature against a wall, especially if you’re a tune fiend! Pop in some tealights and you’ll have a warm cosy corner that uses recycled tins and their inner reflective surface to maximum effect.
Price The cans are $4 for two and it comes with all that delicious fish. If you’re opting for the velcro mounting tape, this will bring a set of two to be about $8. If not, it’s only about $5. Remember to keep away flammable objects when installing this project.
Photo and DIY idea by: www.goodhousekeeping.com
Wow visiting guests by making this impressive wreath out of recycled greeting cards and hanging it on your front door! This pretty yet eco-friendly Christmas decoration can be tweaked in size and colour depending on the type of cards you have and is really simple to assemble.
Price A foam wreath costs about $17 and is available at craft stores. If you run out of greeting cards, try using pages from a magazine or even gift wrap as an alternative.
Photo and DIY idea by: www.siningfactory.com
What’s Christmas without the Christmas tree? But having an eco-friendly Christmas means not buying a huge synthetic tree that will just sit in the storeroom for months. So why not make your own, using common household items like plastic bottles?
Price We really recommend using recycled bottles instead of buying new ones. But if you need to, then 6 large bottle trees cost just $15.10. If you are electrically-savvy, attach a light at the end for a glowing Christmas decor!
Photo and DIY idea by: www.jarty.net
Who would guess that these sparkly mosaic baubles are made from old CDs? The ubiquitous CD is now slowly being phased out, both musically and for storage. CDs take forever to decompose, so instead of trashing them, use your old CDs to create these disco ball-like decorations!
Price The clear baubles can be bought at most art stores and will cost between $1-$3 each, depending on the size and quality. Buy in bulk to get a cheaper price. Alternatively, freshen up the look of some of your own old baubles with this same technique.
Photo and DIY idea by: www.lushome.com
The nose knows when a celebration is in full swing, so spice up the house with this fresh and natural scent-sation! The spicy heady aroma will be a hit with your guests!
Price This refreshing display will last a few days or up to a week in some conditions. The aroma will fill the house for an inviting welcome at just $12. If you prefer to keep things a little less messy, replace the pomegranate with some whole apples to prop up the arrangement.
Photo and DIY idea by: www.inhabitat.com
Cardboard boxes can be repurposed into an enchanting city scene with just some scissors and online cityscape references. The boxes also double up to hide those unsightly Christmas lights wires – yay!
Price It’s funny how something so simple can be done with spare materials around the house. This project costs next to nothing but will definitely give a unique glow at your upcoming party. Stay on the nice list with not just Santa, but Mother Gaia too with our easy and eco-friendly decoration ideas for a green Christmas. And always remember – refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle.
For more festive ideas, check out our Christmas page.