As a well-known song says it, It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is knocking on our doors and we’re really excited about it. I know I am.
We get to decorate trees and houses with beautiful colorful ornaments. The big question is whether the ornaments we use are eco-friendly or not?
You may not have even thought about this questions, but it’s an important aspect you need to consider. Plastic decorations are not ideal for the environment, especially after they get thrown away.
What you may want to look for are biodegradable Christmas ornaments. They are made of materials which decompose faster than conventional ones, meaning they are less harmful to the environment.
Before we go into detail about this type of ornaments, let’s talk about these conventional Christmas decorations and how they can affect the environment.
Plastic is not ideal for a green Christmas
Plastic is one of the most used materials for manufacturing Christmas ornaments. Baubles and garlands are two common examples we find in almost every store.
The problem with plastic is that it is a dangerous material. It harms the environment when it is manufactured and when it is thrown away, ending up back in the environment.
Everything starts with the extraction of petroleum or natural gas. It continues with energy and time-consuming processes to manufacture the material. In the meantime, toxic vapors and fumes are released.
Each year the world produces approximately 260 million tons of plastic. 10% end up in the ocean and the other in different parts of the environment.
It takes between 450 and 1000 years for plastic to decompose.
Now put the two information together. Tons of plastic are produced (hence, thrown away) each year and it takes long years for them to disappear.
Add that, during the decomposing process, toxins and dangerous chemicals are released.
If you’re thinking that this is not the case for you and your Christmas decorations, think again. Ornaments break or get ruined at one point. If you don’t recycle them, they end up as mentioned above.
What’s more, think of the little pieces of garland that can fall on the floor. They can be easily ingested by pets and young children.
The benefits of using biodegradable Christmas ornaments
To finish our last idea, biodegradable Christmas ornaments are not safe (or safer) to eat, but they are a healthier option for the environment.
Biodegradable is a characteristic and means materials can break down and return into nature, due to the action of microorganisms.
These products decompose faster than conventional materials.
You may also want to keep an eye open for compostable ornaments. These products have the capacity to break down into humus and do not release any toxins in the environment.
Biodegradable Christmas decorations are as beautiful as any holiday decoration. The only difference is in the eco-friendliness of the material.
These products are ideal if you like trying new decorations each year. You may want throw the old ones and this becomes less of a problem for the environment.
Make your own eco-friendly Christmas ornaments
Biodegradable Christmas ornaments are one way of preparing your tree and home for the holidays. You can make your own eco-friendly decorations.
Pine cons are a symbol of winter and also a great source for decorating material. You can make globes or wreaths with them. You can also add little white or silver spray to give them a snowy look.
Wreaths are another idea and can be made of different materials such as herbs, old newspapers or simple paper.
Garlands can be made by simply taking a string and putting on it dry fruits, pine cones or any other thing that crosses your mind.
What about the Christmas tree?
We’ve talked about biodegradable Christmas ornaments and now it’s time to focus a little on the Christmas tree.
It’s the magical symbol of this holiday and decorating it is a wonderful tradition.
Let me ask you a question. What type of tree are you decorating: a freshly cut, a plastic or a pot grown one?
Buying freshly cut trees contributes to the deforestation. Annually, people cut down around 15 billion trees.
Although only 2% of Christmas trees come from the wild (the rest of 98% are grown in farms), they still contribute to these alarming numbers.
Going for an artificial one or a pot grown tree is a more eco-friendly option.
A plastic tree can be used every year without any problem.
A pot grown tree can be kept inside for the Christmas period and then, you can plant in your garden or in another place.