Friday, December 4, 2009

Green Holiday Decorating... Complete with Eco-Recon

This weekend marks the beginning of our apartment winter season decorating. Previous years have always discouraged me from initiating any sort of decorating for the holidays, there is just so much "crap". Seeing all that fake petrochemical based wreaths and plastic imbued "snow" seriously gives me the heebs. Why I'd want to surround myself with fake plastic stuff is beyond my comprehension. All those plastic things off-gas into our homes so that we breathe in lead dust, VOC's and yummy-ness.

That being said, I do want my space to feel festive. The natural and "eco" consumer alternatives are usually pretty darn pricey. So every year we've had a difficult time buying stuff to decorate for a few weeks.

This year we're trying a few different options. We are going to have a bit of a DIY Yule.

1. First up is that YUMMY Christmas tree smell. Since we aren't technically allowed a tree in our apartment, THAT whole debate can be left for another post. We're going to get a nice little rosemary bush. It will be small, so less decorations needed, and we'll have fresh rosemary all year round! (tree pic from ecobites)

2. On that topic, this weekend will be Mission: Branch. Yep, Andrew and I will be going out to some wooded area (the park might be a liiiittle iffy on trying to sneak our branches out of there unseen!) and kindly borrowing some branches for decking our... table or whatever. Branches are free and will smell like Christmas without actually chopping down a tree. However, I may have to macguiver a branch watering system to keep the needles from falling off within a few days....

3. Pinecones, sticks and beautiful stones. Why buy fake plastic versions when you can have the real ones for free sans chemicals? This will be combined with Mission: Branch.

4. Christmas Cards as decorations. Since I've already received a few kind cards from clients, why not use them? I love the idea of cutting out images and stringing them together to make garland.

5. Candycanes are a fun tasty way to add festive spirit while assuring some tasty snacks later! There are organic and non-synthetic versions out there, but they're pricey...

6. Natural Scents. I think out of all the visual decorations, nothing reminds me more of Christmas than the smell of apple cider or cinnamon. Burn some essential oils, make apple cider or bake some cookies.

7. Instead of petro-candles, check out some local beeswax candles or tealights. Many larger candles have a yummy honey-ish scent all on their own. This way you'll know that your candle isn't off-gassing weird synthetic chemicals or petroleum into your sealed for the winter home.

8. Gingerbread House!!!!! Need I say more?

9. Fruit such as bright red local apples can add some excellent colour to the green branches you'll recon and delicious smelling cinnamon sticks.

10. If you like twinkle, LED lights are the way to go. There are many versions on the market now and you can even get more warmer tones (unlike a few years ago when you were stuck with spaceship blue).

If you'd like more ideas check out Ecobites DIY Eco Friendly Christmas Decoration. They have some fun kid-activities too! 

What about you? Do you have some fun, natural ideas for green holiday decorations, I'd love to hear! :) We will be sure to document our ultra stealthy Mission: Branch this weekend!


article copyright of EcoYogini at   


  1. I love these ideas. Along the lines of the Xmas tree/branches, hanging a fresh wreath is a great way to get the scent of pine without a whole tree. Another nice decoration is a Xmas tree made from cardboard (this is one example-- you can make your own:

  2. Fabulous ideas you have here. Check this out :
    I am so making this on the weekend.

    Beeswax candles are the best. I always have a few around to light up when needed. They purify your home.

  3. You can also bend branches into a lovely wreath--securing them with floral wire or something similar, I suppose. I meant to make one last year, but didn't get around to it (plus my husband's grandma sent us a fresh wreath). We're getting our tree tomorrow--it will be freshly cut, because we don't have anywhere to replant a potted one. We go to the same organic family tree farm every year, and I feel good about it. Thanks for sharing all your holiday ideas!

  4. It's going to be gorgeous! I want to see pictures!

  5. i just saw this cool "DIY copper tree" - a green way of having a tree for small apartments that you can use year after year. how big will your rosemary bush be? I have a rosemary plant...but I think it's too small for ornaments. my mom always hangs xmas cards - she doesn't cut them first, just hangs them side by side over string.

  6. I LOVE your ideas!!!

    I am SO borrowing the Rosemary bush as tree idea.

    Fun times :)


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