5 sustainable Christmas decor ideas – embrace a more eco-friendly festive display this year

From handmade ornaments to styling your space with flowers and foliage, sustainable Christmas decor can not only look beautiful, it's better for the planet, too

Sustainable Christmas decor ideas. Cozy red and cream dining room. Minimalist living room. Outdoor christmas decor on front door/porch.
(Image credit: Cathy Nordstrom, Fanny Radvik | Lulu and Georgia | Nicole Yee Interiors/SEN Creative)

By opting for sustainable Christmas decor ideas this year, you can not only make your home feel wonderfully fun and festive for the season, you can also create a scheme that is more environmentally friendly, what's not to love?

When exploring Christmas decor ideas that are better for the planet and work in harmony with eco decor, the key is to make it more thoughtful and environmentally friendly by investing in designs made from sustainable materials, as well as embracing the existing decor you already have in your home.

From DIY Christmas decor ideas that will make for a cozy Christmas craft, to foraging for beautiful foliage and flowers, there are plenty of ways you can enhance your home with the spirit of the season in a more sustainable way.

5 of our favorite sustainable Christmas decorating ideas

The beauty of many of our favorite decorating ideas is that they can work seamlessly with both traditional Christmas decor and modern Christmas decor, too – so no matter the style of your Christmas scheme this year, there will be sustainable Christmas decor ideas to suit.

1. Handmade decorations

Wreath on wall above fireplace, decorated mantelpiece

(Image credit: Rowen & Wren)

Christmas is the perfect time to get creative with a whole host of fun crafts, and many hand-made decorations can add a more unique and sustainable touch to your festive decor.

'Making your own Christmas decorations, such as simple but elegant paper snowflakes or fabric garlands can not only create a cozy, homey look, these designs can often be created using materials and objects you already have in your home,' says interior designer and founder of Arsight, Artem Kropovinsky.

Some of our other favorite sustainable Christmas craft ideas include classic dried orange garlands (they can make your home smell good for Christmas, too), beautiful Christmas wreaths and you can never go wrong with a paper chain garland.

Artem Kropovinsky headshot
Artem Kropovinsky

Founder of NYC-based interior design firm, Arsight, Artem Kropovinsky has a decade of extensive global design experience, connecting a cohesive, collaborative team of passionate professionals, who work on interior projects in the U.S. and worldwide. 

2. Natural decorative accents

Christmas door decor with wreath and garland around the door frame, antique rug, baskets and a pot full of poinsettia

(Image credit: Nicole Yee Interiors/SEN Creative)

Nature is at the heart of some of the most popular festive decorating ideas, from wreaths to Christmas garlands and more, and these designs can create a wonderful, indoor-outdoor feel as well as a more sustainable scheme.

'Foraging for natural materials like pinecones, berries, and such from around your neighborhood makes for beautiful tree trimmings while saving money and feeling personal,' says Keely Smith, lead interior designer at JD Elite Interiors.

'Real Christmas tree ideas can be great sustainable options too. A fresh tree can bring such joy to an interior space over the holidays, and once Christmas is over, planting it in your yard recycles the nutrients back into the soil.'

Amy Kleppinger, owner of The Home Green also says, 'One approach to Christmas decorating that is more sustainable and fulfilling is incorporating house plants. Watching an amaryllis bloom throughout the month of December is one of my favorite Christmas traditions, and one that makes me feel invigorated just as everything outside is turning gray and brittle. Poinsettias, rosemary, Christmas cactus, and even decorating your house plants for Christmas can all add some eco-friendly cheer to your home.'

For more inspiration, we explore the best Christmas plants and flowers in our dedicated feature.

Keely Smith / JD Interiors
Keely Smith

Keely Smith is a designer and artist living in North Vancouver, BC. She has over 10 years experience working with design studios, private companies and as a freelance designer.

3. Buy secondhand designs

Cozy christmas dining room with large wreath on wall above fireplace

(Image credit: Cathy Nordstrom, Fanny Radvik)

'Looking for vintage or upcycled decor is not only sustainable, it is a fantastic way to introduce new items to your collection. Antique and thrift shops can be a great place to save money and find unique pieces that bring a little nostalgia to your home at Christmas,' says Amy Kleppinger.

Shopping for antique and vintage festive decorations can give old objects a wonderful new lease of life; from vintage candlesticks to Christmas tree ornaments and even glassware and dinnerware, these items can bring beautiful character to your home for Christmas and beyond.

Amy Kleppinger / The Home Green Design
Amy Kleppinger

Amy Kleppinger is the founder of The Home Green Design, a website that specializes in providing tips for making interior spaces greener and more sustainable.

4. Embrace more mindful, minimalist decorating ideas

Sustainable christmas decor, minimalist living room with garland and wreath

(Image credit: Lulu and Georgia)

'One of the best ways to be more sustainable with decor that has the added benefit of contributing to a less hectic holiday season: embrace the principles of slow decorating,' says Amy Kleppinger. 'Rather than rushing out and buying the latest trendy accessory, focus on those special things that add fun and meaning to your holiday. These might be putting out a family heirloom, working on a craft project, or making time for a family decorating ritual. 

She continues, 'There’s no reason every inch of your home has to be covered in tinsel (unless that brings you holiday cheer), there’s a lot of freedom in decorating on your own schedule in a way that feels relaxed and thoughtful to you. Mindful decorating and more minimalist Christmas decor ideas will almost certainly prevent wasted money and resources on unnecessary Christmas decor.'

5. Make the most of your existing decor

Studio McGee dining room

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

Interior designer, Keely Smith, says 'I love how you can repurpose what you have for sustainable Christmas decor, digging in cupboards or the attic often turns up treasured pieces ready for new life. My grandma's vintage 1950s Nutcracker collection or mom's glass ball ornaments hold so much history. When you cherish items and pass them down, that's real sustainability.'

Harriet Pringle, founder of Narchie says, 'It is a misconception that you need to purchase dedicated festive items for decoration. Instead, you can incorporate pieces that you use all year round and simply add festive touches. For an inexpensive yet decorative napkin ring, you can wrap napkins with velvet ribbon. Go all out with candles, as they create a great atmosphere and a lovely glow.'

From making the most of the best candles, to adorning your Christmas table with your best collection of glassware, get creative and shop your own home for Christmas decor this year.

Harriet Pringle / Narchie
Harriet Pringle

Harriet is the founder of Narchie, a social marketplace for second-hand homeware and interiors.


How can I decorate for Christmas naturally?

Some of the best and most-loved Christmas decorations come from nature, and what's great about so many of these classic, festive designs is that a lot of them can be created using foraged flowers and foliage from your own yard and garden. 

From wreaths on doors and walls and garlands on mantels and dining tables, these natural accents are one of the easiest ways you can decorate for Christmas naturally.

Another easy and elegant decorating idea is using natural candles (some of our favorite natural candles come from Scandinavian candle brand, Skandinavisk, shop their store on Amazon) as well as placing vases of seasonal flowers and foliage around your home.

When it comes to your Christmas tree ornaments, use dried orange slice decorations, pine cone decorations, paper decorations and sprigs of foliage and flowers.

If you're looking for some new, shop-bought decorations but are wanting to keep things sustainable, always choose quality over quantity and invest in ornaments that can stand the test of time, The Citizenry is a great place to shop for long-lasting, sustainable Christmas decor.

Zara Stacey
Managing Editor

Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.