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
Lucy Searle

My first job was writing a DIY column for a magazine for the over 50s (which seemed a long way off back then). I then moved to a DIY magazine as deputy ed, then freelanced my way around the homes departments of most women's magazines on the market before working on Your Home and Family Circle magazines as homes editor. From there, I went to Ideal Home magazine as associate editor, then launched 4Homes magazine for Channel 4, then the Channel 4 4Homes website before going back to freelancing and running a social media business (you can see where I had kids from the freelancing gaps!). I was tempted back to the world of big business by the chance to work with the great team at, where I was Global Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years, taking it from a small website to a global entity. I've now handed the reins of the website to our American managing editor, while I take on a new challenge as Editor-in-Chief of Homes & Gardens.