Zero Waste Christmas Decor

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Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, and I absolutely love decorating for Christmas. When my apartment is filled with Christmas lights, fresh pine and berries, and smells like cinnamon, my heart jumps for joy. Walking into my apartment filled with Christmas decorations just puts the biggest smile on my face literally every time I enter. I couldn't give up decorating for Christmas because I had joined this zero waste adventure. Zero waste isn't supposed to be restricting, it's supposed to be inspirational and life giving. So I got creative and thought a little outside the box from my usual holiday decorating. I know in past years, I would find myself at Hobby Lobby for that 50% off all Christmas decor at the beginning of December and go nuts. I learned that there are so many more options out there though and here are just a few of my favorites. 

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REUSE

(I MEAN IT IS ONE OF THE 5 R'S OF ZERO WASTE)

A majority of my Christmas decorations I have had for many years now. I slowly acquired them throughout college, and bought items that I can see myself using for many years down the road. I do own two plastic Christmas trees; a flocked skinny six foot tree and a small four foot pre-lit tree, but I have had them for multiple years now and plan on using them for many more years to come. 

Reusing what you already own is more sustainable, because you're not contributing to the production and manufacturing of more goods. Also, your bank account will be better off because you're not spending more money on brand new items. Save that money that you would use to buy an excess amount of Christmas decorations and have an experience. 

THRIFT SHOPS

Macklemore may have made thrift shops cool again, but I don't think they really ever went out of style. Seriously though, thrift stores are filled with Christmas decorations. I went to just one of the local thrift stores this past weekend and found everything I could possibly want to fill my apartment with all things Christmas. It was like walking into a Christmas wonderland where all the items were like 75-90% cheaper than retail. They had Christmas trees in every shape and size, lights, candles, pillows, ornaments, cookie jars, and all sorts of other holiday knick knacks. 

Buying second hand is a much more sustainable option than buying new. These items are already in the consumer market and by buying second hand we are voicing our opinion to decrease the demand for newly manufactured items each year. When you buy second hand, you get to find one of a kind pieces that not everyone has in their home. There are all kinds of unique items that are found in thrift shops and second hand stores that you'll want to keep for years. Also, there is something exciting about hunting for items and never knowing what you'll find!

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NATURE

This is probably my favorite places to find decorations. I absolutely love nature, so I thought "why not bring it inside with me?" A handful of my decorations I "borrowed" from the great outdoors. Branches, twigs, berries, pine cones, leaves, etc. The list of items you can decorate your home with from outside is endless. I have seen people do some amazing projects with items found outside. Get your creative hat on and start foraging for items. If you end up not liking the look of the outdoors indoors, just return the pieces from where you found them. No harm done. Not only is it free, but so sustainable! When the season ends and you no longer want to hold onto these items, just return them outside and they can decompose naturally.

I haven't looked too much into the pros and cons of buying real Christmas trees yet either. I can see how this could be more sustainable because it is real and not made of plastic, but then again, you need to buy a new one each year. Let me know what you all think about real Christmas trees  vs. plastic Christmas trees in the comments below! 

How do you all decorate for Christmas? Leave comments below! I'd love to hear all your zero waste decorating ideas!

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