This Greta Thunberg-inspired Christmas decorating trend is the only one you need to know about

Sir David Attenborough has a hand in it, too... and we're hoping it catches on

Recycled Christmas decorations
(Image credit: Love Crafty Carole)

You may have noticed that we, at H&G, are somewhat obsessed with trends. In fact, monitoring what is rising and what is dipping in the trend stakes is pretty much a daily task. We say task... it's a pleasure, really.

Christmas trends are no different, attracting our eagle eyes, and this year sees an unsurprising return to a simpler way of celebrating, with homespun decorations a really big look. However, there's an important detail to add: the homespun decorations this year – and for years to come, we hope – should be recycled Christmas decorations, or at least eco-friendly, to be truly on trend.

This, of course, thanks to the extraordinary work of eco warrior Greta Thunberg (below) and the great Sir David Attenborough (eco choices are even being named as influenced by The Attenborough Effect). 

Where to shop? We'll tell you below – and bring you our five favorites. Before that, though...

When we say 'recycled', the ideal is, of course, to use Christmas decorations you've had for years – family heirlooms, your children's makes, baubles that have fallen out of favor. If you have a strict color scheme for your Christmas tree or table and they don't fit, use these recycled Christmas decorations as fillers – at the back of the tree, at the bottom of a bowl of baubles or create an entirely new scheme for a space you usually don't decorate, such as the hallway. 

Where to shop for recycled Christmas decorations

Can Christmas decorations be recycled?

If you want to get rid of old Christmas decorations, you will probably find that they are not eco-friendly so cannot be recycled into landfill. Your best option, in this case, is to upcycle them, donating them to a local charity or school, who can no doubt make use of them, either selling them on or using them to decorate their premises.

How do I dispose of tinsel?

Sadly, tinsel is not able to be recycled so it is best, again, to keep it and repurpose it in imaginative ways – or to pass it on to a charity shop, school, local church... or anyone who might appreciate it and know how to responsibly dispose of it in future.

How do you make Christmas greener?

These are quick ways to have a more eco-friendly Christmas:

  • When you can, shop local at independent stores – your community will benefit from this too.
  • Make sure Christmas decorations are eco-friendly – check decorations are made sustainably.
  • Choose eco-friendly alternatives to gift wrap – see our feature on Furoshiki to see how the Japanese do it (it's brilliant!).
  • Get a real tree... ensuring it is grown sustainably – and make sure to dispose of it properly, too.
  • Send e-cards or make your own.
Lucy Searle
Content Director

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she also took on the editorship of the magazine. Today, Lucy works as Content Director across Homes & Gardens, Woman & Home, Ideal Home and Real Homes.