Hello, friends!

You’re all so great. Did you know that? I’m lucky that I get to inhabit this planet with you.

Speaking of our wonderful planet, this week is Climate Week in NYC and there were planned Climate Strikes worldwide over the weekend and throughout this week. The world is in dire need of our help and every single little thing we can do to help adds up.

Last week on Instagram, I asked you to share your ways that you decorate seasonally using eco-conscious or sustainable methods and y’all DELIVERED! *insert praise hands and celebratory brass sounds*

Today, I’m going to share both what I do for sustainable seasonal decor and what you all do.

Jake and I are always thinking of ways to be more eco-conscious and seasonal decorating is no different. I don’t do much by way of seasonal decorating; I’m not a pumpkinpalooza kind of person, nor am I a Christmas-on-every-surface person. We basically only use biodegradable/plantable decor or thrifted decor or decor that has been passed down through my family.

Okay. Sorry, I almost became the type of blog where they share a tale of their childhood, coupled with a tale of their grandma’s childhood, on top of a story on how a recipe was born before you even reach the meat of the recipe. So, without further distraction, here are our (mine + your) ideas about sustainable, seasonal decor:

Use What You Have

This is really straightforward but it’s pretty important. Use what you’ve got.

I don’t wanna be the one to tell you, but… You likely don’t need that cute little ceramic pumpkin from the Target Dollar Spot or the plastic tassel garland at the dollar store. They’re cute! But use what you have.

This is our jam for Christmas decorations. We have decor that my mom gave me from my childhood, and some of it is from her childhood. We love the vintage vibes of our tree during the holiday season.

We don’t have enough decor around to do this for other holidays, but if you’re one of those people that wants to live in a bat cave from September-November, it’s entirely possible for all the holidays. Repair the stuff that breaks, and don’t give into cheap consumerism.

Forage

This is one of the MOST fun things. Grab a pair of scissors and walk around the yard, snipping things that are cute and could sit well in a vase or on a wreath or in a bowl. If you don’t have a yard with any vegetation or foliage in it, go to a park (sorry, Nashville Parks department, I’ve definitely taken pieces of Magnolia trees home with me).

This works for all the holidays, and during the winter months, the smell of freshly-cut pine sprigs and pinecones will offer a double-whammy: good smells AND cute vibes. Win/win.

Melanie of A Small Life cut down a tree from her yard to use as a Christmas tree one year (and then planted one in its place). That’s like, the ultimate forage.

Teri of T. Moore Home shared a tutorial on her blog of how to create a large boxwood wreath using yard waste! Click here for the tutorial.

Decorate With Food and Living Plants

This is EASY. I mean, pie pumpkins are so damn cute and they are SO delicious. Cutting and roasting a pie pumpkin to make homemade pumpkin pie is one of my favorite traditions I’ve created for our home. The rich, earthy smell of a freshly-roasted pumpkin has become synonymous with the changing of the seasons.

If you’re unaware of the different kinds of pumpkins, a pie pumpkin looks like a shrunken version of a jack-o-lantern pumpkin and you can pick them up at nearly every farmers market, hardware store, and grocery store around autumn and winter. They look great grouped together and you can freeze your pie filling for a year to use later. We either eat our pumpkins or keep them until they rot and throw them into our compost to use in our garden. Apples are also another good edible tabletop decoration.

Another fall favorite: MUMS! Did you know that you can PLANT your mums and they’ll come back!? They’re hardy and perennial! I’m definitely doing this this year because I didn’t know this until this year. They’re so cute when they’re flowering, but even cute when they’re not.

Repurposing

This is something that I’m personally not great at, but y’all had some super inventive and incredible ideas.

First of all, if you’re local to Nashville, Turnip Green Creative Reuse is the repurposing holy grail. It’s a donation-based shop off of Nolensville Pike in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood with a sustainable and creatively-focused mission. You pay what you can for the items you want. This is a great place to take kids and lets their little creative brains get the magic going. Kids are crazy inventive and it would be really fun to create some decorations with them that can stay in the family.

Sammie, @ole.little.red.bird on Instagram, repurposes old fabric to create the CUTEST pumpkins. Check them out here:

Homemade Biodegradable Decorations

A ton of you had amazing ideas for this one too and I can’t wait to try some of them. One of my followers, Sarah, said she and her family made a garland out of dried citrus fruits — I dunno about you, but that sounds so cute and I can’t wait to try this one. Tutorial in the future, perhaps.

Another friend of mine, Lena, said her family likes to use pine wreaths and natural beeswax candles. Pine wreaths are incredibly easy to make, and you can pick up beeswax candles from local makers at most farmers markets.

Don’t Decorate

I know, I know. I said I was going to give you seasonal decor ideas and this is basically me jumping ship… But it’s a viable option. My best friend Claire said it best: “I like to have things I like enough to display year-round.”

You don’t have to decorate! You can snuggle up on the couch with a huge bowl of popcorn and a warm mug of apple cider, pop in a Christmas or Halloween movie (so turn on The Nightmare Before Christmas just to be safe) and get all of those warm-fuzzy snuggly holiday feelings without the decor.

This isn’t for everyone, and if it’s not for you, move along! Decorate, but be mindful. If you can’t think of a place for it to go, you don’t need it. Thrift decor if you must, but re-donate if it’s in good shape so it can live the rest of its life in someone else’s home. Repair the things that you have. Re-use things in new, creative ways.

Leave a comment if you have other ideas of sustainable decor. I’d love to hear what you do!

Thanks for sharing with me. I appreciate all of you.

EVEN MORE IDEAS:

SO many of you submitted ideas, so I wanted to post them all here for you to read. Maybe they’ll inspire you to decorate differently this year!

  • Plant real, seasonal flowers in the garden
  • Grow your own pumpkins
  • Put pumpkins out on the porch — eat them before they go bad
  • Thrift all seasonal decor; donate when finished
  • Utilize pinecones and leaves and sticks — they’re all beautiful!
  • Decorate using things that have a long life — built well, hand-carved, etc.
  • Get decor that is able to stick around all-year
  • Say NO to single-use plastic decor
  • Use LED lights in lieu of traditional lighting
  • Blankets and throws that can be put in storage when not in season; swap them out to give rooms new vibes
  • Repaint old canvases for seasonal art
  • Use the same decor every year
  • Wrap gifts using scrap fabric
  • Junk mail/scrap paper/coffee filter snowflakes
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Posted by:Abbey Chiavario

Abbey is a DIY enthusiast and artist based out of Nashville, TN.

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