Decking the Halls—Sustainably

Sustainable is tasteful: how to add some socially responsible holiday cheer to your home.

Words by Sarah Lyon
Photography by Samuel Pasquier

FRAMA Fundament Candle Holders and Fritz Hansen Ikebana Vase

Decorating for the holidays is a ritual that we look forward to every year. There’s something about unwrapping favorite ornaments and figurines and hanging up string lights inside and out that automatically puts us in a cheerful, celebratory mood. However, it’s important to be socially responsible and implement sustainable practices when decorating for the season. Not sure where to begin? We’ve rounded up a few simple tips!

1) Invest in Quality Pieces

Invest in decorative items that will bring you joy to display year after year. If you simply follow the latest trends, you may find yourself easily tired of the pieces you selected this year come December 2022. And in order to cut back on further waste, we also suggest opting for decorative items that will look beautiful in your home all year round and can double as festive finds as needed. For example, a mini red tray is seasonally appropriate in color but will also look lovely during the remaining months of the year. Come December, fill it with ornaments or pinecones. Throughout the rest of the year, use it to hold rocks, seashells, or other organic items. A blue and white candle holder will look beautiful on your coffee table or mantel all year long but is especially stylish to display in honor of Hanukkah as part of a DIY menorah. Think carefully prior to making purchases and be mindful about selecting items that will have multiple uses and stand the test of time. 

Jipi by Ames Baubles - photography courtesy of Ames

2) Opt for Decorations That Do Good

Looking to cut back on your carbon footprint? Take a look at some of our favorite pieces that also are produced responsibly. This cozy blanket is perfect for evenings spent watching holiday movies on the sofa and is made out of recycled cotton. And when shopping for ornaments, why not choose offerings from a brand that gives back by supporting marginalized communities or engaging in local initiatives. We can’t get enough of these colorful, handcrafted ornaments that are sure to make your tree shine. 

Skagerak Edge Pot Ø35 - Terracotta - photography courtesy of Skagerak

3) Be Thoughtful In Terms of Your Tree

If you choose to purchase a real tree, consider renting one! There are many companies that will deliver Christmas trees to your door and then take them back and re-plant them after the holidays are over. If you decide to go for a smaller sized tree and are looking for a stylish way to display it in your home, we suggest placing it in a beautiful pot like this one. Even those living in small apartments will be able to fully embrace the holiday spirit by opting for a mini tree and decorating it to the nines.

The Organic Company Gift Wrapping Set and Tala Muse Lantern

4) Wrap Responsibly

Make more sustainable choices when it comes to gift wrapping. It’s easy to still make gifts look aesthetically pleasing while honoring our earth. Recycling ribbons, paper, and other materials from online orders or past seasons is one sustainable practice. Another is to reduce waste by utilizing reusable, cotton wrapping that can be repurposed year after year. The Organic Company created their Nordic interpretation of traditional Japanese "Furoshiki" with a set of organic cotton gift wraps.

As you can see, it’s incredibly easy to enjoy the magic that the holiday season brings while still being socially responsible and keeping sustainable practices top of mind. After all, there is no better gift than simply doing something good for our planet.

About Sarah Lyon

Sarah Lyon is a Washington, DC, native living in New York City. As a freelancer, she frequently covers pieces pertaining to interior design, travel, and other lifestyle topics. Her pieces have appeared in outlets including Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest, Lonny, MyDomaine, and more.

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