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Decorate Your Home This Christmas - But Make it Sustainable

By Valentina Piscopo

Christmas at home. Hubby cannot wait to indulge in Christmas food, devouring it as if it was his last meal on earth, baby waits impatiently for something sparkly and very breakable to go up on the Christmas tree only to shake it vigorously and watch it bounce on the ground in delight, puppy is eagerly waiting to tear that shiny tinsel off the tree and drag it to the garden, and as I “proceed to checkout” ticking off one by one the Christmas present list online, I am already stressing about January's credit card bill. Can you relate to any of that ?

A time to indulge and consume in any possible way is what Christmas has become about. According to PHS Waste Blog the festive season produces 30% more waste than the rest of the year with over two million turkeys and six million discarded trees every year. Christmas is making a detrimental impact on our carbon footprint, we forget all about the environment at this time of year as being sensible goes out of the window and we go big on plastic trees, mass produce Christmas baubles, wrapping paper and batteries... oh many batteries needed for every fairy light concoction in the house.

The good news is that we can still enjoy our Christmas by being mindful of our environment and planet, using simple ideas, thoughtfully executed. So while we feast, and wine and dine here are some helpful tips on decorating your home, table and tree with long lasting products that won't harm the earth.

1. Swap plastic for felt

Thankfully most retailers are paying attention to this issue and we are seeing a huge range of fantastic felt Christmas decorations, so swap the plastic for this soft natural material to add extra cozyness to your home. Plus your toddler will soon get bored of baubles which don’t make as much noise when they plummet to the ground and so will leave your tree alone.

Here are some of our top picks..

2. Turn your citrus fruit to jerky

You heard right. Every influcencer, designer and DIYer has done it and so should you. Dried orange slices are the most popular embellishment this year and it couldn't be easier to do. Cut your oranges into thin slices and place them in a baking tray in the oven at 120C. Small piece of advice? keep an eye on them and don't do what I did which is forget them in there and yes you guessed it they burnt. Aaargh.. mum brain!

Use your dried orange slices to adorn your tree. Place them on top of green festive foliage running across your Christmas table or make a garland of them to hang above your chimney – or realistically under the TV if you live in Dubai!

3. Pretty paper

Want to know what else is free to decorate with? Paper! Christmas paper stars are easy to make with the paper you already have around the house and a pair of scissors. Elegant and inexpensive, this Christmas decoration makes for a wonderful festive crafting activity to enjoy with the family.

Don't have anyone handy at home who enjoys crafting ? These stores have you covered

4. All dressed up in fruit

Decorating with fruit is not only very elegant but the most sustainable thing you can do since your decorations can be eaten later. It's a win win for you, your wallet and the planet, (and the husband who is still thinking about eating. )

Pomegranates, figs and red berries make for excellent tablescapes. Get inspired by designers around the world to get the look in your home.

5. That’s a wrap

A whole lot of Christmas presents to be wrapped translates into a whole lot of waste so why not look around your home for some alternatives? Here's a few favourites.

Fabric wrapping. Nothing says I love you more than a gift wrapped in fabric, it adds a personal touch to your gift and your unique stamp by wrapping a present in something so personal. Give it a try!

Use magazines and newspapers you have lying around. They have once served their purpose and you can give them a whole new one this Christmas by recycling them to wrap your presents. Add natural twine string to hold them in place and voilà, your minimalist gift wrapping is well on its way to being one of the most stylish parcels around the Christmas tree. A stylist’s advice? Add a spring of rosemary for an extra Christmassy aroma.

So yes, pull out your oranges and spare bits of fabric is as simple as that. Embrace your creativity, use what is already available without skimping on style. Who knows, you might find that the process of creating something beautiful will bring you joy ( plus your wallet will thank you ! )

Simple ideas, thoughtfully executed.


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