10 sustainable Christmas decoration ideas – style your home in an eco-friendly fashion for the holidays

If you love decorating your house for the festive period but want to do so in an eco-friendly fashion, our roundup of beautifully sustainable Christmas decoration ideas will help you out

 Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home
(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Beautiful and sustainable Christmas decoration is what many of us are striving towards year on year. But, with Christmas just around the corner, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the (fast fashion) decoration ideas seen in ads, the supermarket and even social media... We are guilty of falling for it too, but if you like many of us are trying to have a more eco-friendly Christmas this year then one of the places to start change, is in how you decorate your home for the holidays. 

So, if you are looking to spruce up your home in a guilt-free fashion, these eco-friendly Christmas décor ideas will make your life so much easier and make your house much more beautiful!

1. Make your own Christmas wreath

Unsplash how to hang a wreath self adhesive hook

(Image credit: Phil Hearing on Unsplash)

Making your own Christmas wreath will not only be fun and rewarding, but it will also be much more sustainable than any store-bought one. You can make wreaths out of lots of elements that can be found outside, such as foliage and flowers, birch branches, holly and ivy. Simply make a round shape out of any material you have at hand (cardboard is a great way to reuse some old boxes) and arrange your chosen decorations as you please, using either glue or string to piece them together. Make sure to get the little ones involved too!

2. Choose reusable linen napkins

Thanksgiving table decor

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Colorful napkins are an integral part of any Christmas table setting, but they don’t need to go to waste after your big Christmas Day dinner. Swap the single-use paper napkins for beautiful linen pieces, which not only add a lot of personality and elegance to your table, but will also last you a lifetime. Either go for some Christmas-inspired colors, such as green or red, or go for more Scandi Christmas decor theme with rustic colored ones (opens in new tab).

3. Decorate with dried citrus fruit 

dried oranges with sprigs or christmas tree

(Image credit: Photo by Stephanie Studer on Unsplash)

Add an extra pop of color to your home by making your own dried oranges or other citrus fruit decorations, an activity that can also easily be shared with children. Use up some fruits that were left forgotten in the fridge or buy some of the wonkiest-looking ones at your local farmer’s market or supermarket and give them a second life by cutting them in slices and baking them at a low heat for a few hours until they lose all of their juices. Once dried, you can let your imagination run wild and use the dried citrus fruits for all sorts of decorations - such as adding them to your Christmas wreath or even hanging them as more Christmas tree decor.

4. Adorn your space with Christmas plants

poinsettia care

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

One of the best ways to add some pizzazz to your home during the winter holidays without impacting our planet is by opting for plants that you can keep around the house not just during Christmas but for months or years to come. The classic Poinsettias, a.k.a Christmas flowers, will need a little bit of care in order to survive through the season, but all they need is some sunlight and sparing watering until it’s flowering season in April. Christmas cacti are beautiful succulents that can last for years with minimum care, and rosemary adds a lovely touch of green to your kitchen (and a lot of flavor to your roast potatoes!).

5. Make your own table arrangements

Christmas table decoration ideas

(Image credit: Le Creuset)

If you live in an area where you can source different flowers and natural elements such as pinecones, you can easily put together your own table arrangements. Mix up some pinecones, cinnamon sticks, star anis and dried citrus fruit in a bowl for a deliciously-smelling and stunning Christmas centrepiece, or alternatively, get yourself some beautiful dry flower arrangements that are sure to impress every guest – long after Christmas time. These are some of our favourite winter dried flower arrangements.

6. Invest in a Christmas-esque compost caddy

Cotswold Christmas house

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

This is a two-for-one deal in terms of sustainability and décor. Let’s face it, composting isn’t usually a charming activity, but there are now ceramic caddies (opens in new tab) that make composting a little bit more decorative. Whether you are taking the first steps in the composting world or you are a seasoned composter, a metal or ceramic caddy is a great addition to your kitchen countertop and will perfectly match your home setting during the festivities.

7. Style your Christmas gifts sustainably

Homemade Christmas gifts

(Image credit: Wrapuccino)

The presents under the Christmas tree also add a special atmosphere to your home, but most wrapping paper isn’t environmentally friendly as it contains non-recyclable elements, such as plastic or glitter. A good option is to use recycled paper as gift wrapping, which you can decorate with some colorful artwork of your own, or by using some of the above-mentioned dried citrus fruit or some dried flowers. Alternatively, you can also wrap your gifts in fabric using the Furoshiki technique, which will look great and can be re-used in the future. Or, you can choose shop bought recyclable wrapping paper also. 


8. Choose candles with care

Homemade Christmas gifts

(Image credit: Sophie Allport)

Scented candles are a great way to curate a lovely atmosphere at home during the festive season, as you can invoke all sorts of festive memories and make your house smell like Christmas by picking wintery scents such as pumpkin spice, cranberry and fig, and pinewood. Opt for eco-friendly brands like HouseOfLilah London (opens in new tab) who hand make their candles from soy. We are big fans of their Slow Motion soy candle which has notes of leather, dark woods and amber which is gorgeous at any time of year. While Loving Kindness has notes of orange and cinnamon so is perfect for Christmas.

9. Wrap up warm

mink carpet and sofa decorated for christmas

(Image credit: sofa.com)

The best part about Christmas is arguably moving from the table to the couch to watch a classic holiday movie with our loved ones. And what better way to do so than to wrap yourself in a feel-good, sustainable blanket that not only supports an amazing cause but also looks gorgeous as part of your living room decor? Choose blankets by brands that choose locally-sourced products, and they are guaranteed to add a stylish touch to your home in the winter months.

10. Be alternative

Cox and Cox metal Christmas tree

(Image credit: Cox and Cox)

If you want to skip the traditional real Christmas tree and would like to invest on some alternative holiday décor, you can opt for responsible brands such as Nkuku (opens in new tab), whose products are made with natural, reclaimed and recycled materials. Otherwise, there are tons of alternative Christmas tree ideas for our craftier readers to try this year!

Camille is Deputy Editor of Realhomes.com and joined in January 2020. Her love of interior design stemmed from a childhood spent dreaming up weird and wonderful ways to renovate her grandma’s house in France – a greenhouse roof was involved – and it was spending time around very good-looking house plants and in a hardworking kitchen garden that gave her a green thumb. When Camille isn’t sipping coffee and/or writing, she is seeking out cool new Facebook Marketplace finds or tapping into her other creative outlets: painting and clay throwing. She currently rents in North London with her French cat and two others, and hopes to one day renovate the most sustainable house of dreams, somewhere marvellously sunny with a wild, lavish garden and chickens, of course.