The 8 Best Zero Waste Christmas Decorations

November 14, 2020

Whether you’re a scrooge or Christmas obsessed theres no escaping the festive season is fast approaching and whilst this year's Christmas may be a strange one one thing remains the same. 

Christmas generates a huge amount of waste.

Waste comes in all forms over Christmas, whether that be food waste, unwanted gifts or excess wrapping paper but one of the worst (and the subject of this post) is wasted Christmas decorations

Approximately 500 tonnes of Christmas lights are thrown away annually in the Uk alone add to this the many tonnes of plastic trees, tinsel and baubles and the problem with Christmas decorations becomes clear. 


Add to this the fact that Christmas decorations are often un-recyclable due to the mix of materials and it obvious we need a better alternative.

So what’s the alternative?

Fortunately there’s an alternative that’s free, sustainable, biodegradable and looks fabulous. Natural Christmas decorations are the perfect way to set a festive scene whilst being zero-waste.

In this post we’ll explore 8 of our favourite zero-waste Christmas decorations.

Let’s get started…

1. Homemade dried orange decorations

Dried orange decorations are super easy to make, look fantastically festive and will fill your home with warming citrus fragrance.


Dried Orange Slices


  1. Cut your oranges into thin slices (1-2 cm thickness)
  2. Pat your oranges dry using a reusable cloth to speed up the drying process
  3. Pop your slices in the oven at a temperature of 120°C for 3 hours making sure you turn them every hour
  4. Make a small hole near the top of the dried orange
  5. Hang using a piece of natural twine.

2. Simple pinecone decoration

If you thought the dried orange decoration was easy this one will be a sinch! All you’ll need is some natural twine, pinecones and hot glue.


  1. Dot the top of the pinecone with hot glue
  2. Attach a loop of twine or natural coloured ribbon to the top of your pinecone

If you’re wondering where to find pinecones they drop throughout autumn and winter from conifer trees. A great place to start foraging is your local park.


3. Natural twig star and snowflake ornaments

These twig star and snowflake ornaments look delicate and rustic and can be made to any shape and size you desire. All you’ll need is twigs of various thickness and length, natural twine and hot glue.


  1. Cut your twigs to length using a branch cutter
  2. Glue your pieces together with hot glue
  3. Allow the ornaments to dry before glueing a loop to the top of your ornament.

Hang up and admire your natural zero-waste stars and snowflakes.


4. Foraged evergreen garland

To make a festive foraged garland that will have your home smelling wonderful you’ll need 1-3 types of evergreen (including at least one with thicker branches to give your garland some structural integrity), floral wire, wire cutters/heavy duty scissors and hooks for hanging.


  1.  Select your cuttings of evergreen
  2. Arrange them in the shape of your garland on the floor ensuring you have pieces of stronger evergreen (like fir) running the length of the garland to give it structural integrity
  3. Trim excess branches to ensure they fit the shape of your garland (keep the excess for some infused white vinegar)
  4. Wrap your garland using floral wire ensuring the start is tied with a strong knot and keeping the branches wrapped with wire for the full length of the garland to give it strength.
  5. Hang your garland over a doorway or place of your choice.

Step back and admire your evergreen garland that will fill your home with the festive scent of pine and fir!


5. DIY cranberry garland

Stringing cranberries together is a longstanding traditional Christmas decoration that adds a pop of colour to your tree, fireplace or anywhere else you might fancy hanging it. You’ll need coloured string of your choice (red works great), cranberries and an embroidery needle.


cranberry christmas decoration


  1. Thread your needle and pull through so that each end of the string meet (this helps to keep your garland together)
  2. Make sure you knot the end (a few times) so no cranberries fall off
  3. Poke through each of your cranberries with the needle until you have made the garland your desired length.

Make sure you leave enough thread at the end to tie a sturdy knot that will keep your garland together.


6. Christmas holly and ivy wreath

This traditional wreath is made using cuttings of holly and ivy from your garden, you can also substitute the holly and ivy for evergreen branches if you don’t have holly or ivy in your garden.

You’ll need the following:

  1. A wire wreath frame
  2. Protective gloves
  3. Sheers/heavy duty scissors
  4. Floral wire


  1. Cut your branches of greenery to size in proportion to the frame and separate them into piles
  2. Wrap a loop around the edge of your frame 4 times with floral to make sure it’s secure and cut with your scissors/sheers
  3. Make a bundle of greenery placing longer pieces at the back and smaller more colourful pieces at the front.
  4. Fasten the bundle to your loop with more floral wire by wrapping it tightly 4 times, then cut.
  5. Continue until you have completed your wreath

Hang on your door for a splash of festiveness.


7. Zero waste natural salt cookie ornaments

Time for a bit of festive baking! But you won’t be eating these festive treats, instead you’ll be hanging these zero-waste salt cookies as cute ornaments on your tree.

You’ll need the following:

  1. White flour
  2. Salt
  3. Dried herbs, florals and spices like star anise and cloves to decorate your cookies
  4. Cookie cutters
  5. Natural twine

This video covers exactly what to do in a few easy steps:


8. Recycled paper snowflakes

These recycled paper snowflakes are timeless and they can be made zero-waste by using whatever old paper you have to hand be it newspaper, old wrapping paper, envelopes etc. They’re also a great way to keep kids entertained and encourage a bit of creativity, all you’ll need is paper, hole punch and natural twine.


  1. Cut your paper to a square shape by folding corner to corner and cutting the excess
  2. Keep folded and fold again to make a triangle shape
  3. Cut at the folded edge until you have the desired pattern
  4. Unfold your new paper snowflake hole punch and tie up using your natural twine.

Hopefully these 8 Christmas decorations inspire you to get crafty and put foraged materials and waste to good use this festive season. If you enjoyed this post share it with friends and family members this Christmas.

Then let us know what your favourite zero-waste Christmas decoration is by posting below!

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