Reusing Holiday Decorations- the Green Way!

— Written By Trudy Pickett and last updated by

Thanksgiving is past and It is almost December. If you are like me, you are about to pull the storage boxes marked “Holiday Decorations” out their year-long storage for rehanging again this year. Guess what? That is the most ecologically friendly way we can decorate our homes!

Think about reusing what you already have again this year. Just dust off the ornaments, fluff up the “silk” greenery and decorate away. Bows look a little flat? If you are up to the challenge, you can “untie” them, carefully iron the ribbons, and retie them to get another year’s use! If you have carefully stored the bows a little “fluffing” may be all that’s needed for their revival.

Another advantage of reusing last year’s decorations is the huge savings that you will enjoy by not buying new each year. This may be a year that you and your family need to be spending less money, so reusing what you have on hand is the economical way as well as the ecological way to decorate for the season.

To add a little variety, you may rearrange the placement of your decorations this year. Use some of the tree ornaments on the mantle or wreath. Use the dining room garland on the mantle. Purchasing new ribbon would be “cheating” just a little, but adding a different color ribbon to existing decorations will add punch and variety to last year’s decorations. For example, if you used golden ornaments and ribbons last year, add another color or texture to make this year’s decorations a little bit different and festive.

Don’t forget that your yard is full of possibilities (and free!) to supplement your holiday decorations. Rather than buying more artificial greenery again this year, clip some live foliage to add wonderful aroma and natural charm to your home. The natural scent of holly, ivy, cedar and pine will be a constant reminder of the season. Use fresh fruit in arrangements on the dining table, mantle or front door. Just plan to discard it (remember to put it in the compost bin!) and add fresh greenery and fruits to keep your decorations from looking droopy and dry.

Do you prefer a live tree to an artificial one? Buy a potted or balled tree (roots still attached) so you can replant it in the backyard or donate it to someone’s landscaping project.