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Alternatives to Tinsel for Sustainable Christmas Decorations

Deck the Halls with These 6 Sustainable Alternatives to Tinsel

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Christmas is a season of joy and celebration, but it can also be an incredible wasteful celebration. One way to really cut down on your waste is by ditching plastic tinsel and opting for a reusable alternative tinsel instead. While traditional tinsel is made from PVC coated with a thin layer of aluminium, these tinsel alternatives won’t leave you dropping micro plastics all over your house!

Switching to an alternative tinsel will not only reduce unnecessary plastic waste, but you'll also add a unique, rustic charm to your festive decorations. So, let's jump straight into our favourite alternatives to traditional tinsel and give your home a sustainable Christmas makeover!


What Can I Substitute for Tinsel?

Tinsel has long been a staple in Christmas decorations, but it's not the most eco-friendly choice. The good news is that there are plenty of beautiful, sustainable alternatives to tinsel that will make your Christmas tree shimmer and shine without harming the environment.

1. Homemade Dried Orange Slices

DIY dried orange slices

Dried orange slices are not only a sustainable choice as they’re fully natural and compostable, but they also infuse your tree with a warm and zesty aroma. These slices add a touch of rustic elegance to your tree and are a fun DIY project to try out.


2. Fair Trade Multi Coloured Lightbulb Garland

Multi-coloured lightbulb garland

Brighten up your tree with the vibrant and ethical choice of fair trade multi-coloured lightbulb garlands. These not only provide a festive atmosphere but also support artisans and workers in Nepal.


3. Hand Felted Confetti Garland

Hand felted confetti garland

For a whimsical touch, consider hand-felted confetti garlands. Made from 100% wool and coloured with Azo Free dyes so that they are free of toxins, these garlands make the perfect bright edition to Christmas decorations for a fun and festive look.


4. Felt Gingerbread Garland

Felt gingerbread garland

Gingerbread men are a beloved symbol of the holiday season. Make your own gingerbread men decor with this DIY garland kit with step-by-step instructions. Hang a felt gingerbread garland for a sweet, sustainable addition to your Christmas decorations that can be reused year after year.


5. Hand Felted Pompom Garland in Green

Hand Felted Pompom Garland in Green

Pompoms add a touch of whimsy and playfulness to your tree. Opt for Fair Trade hand-felted pompom garlands in eco-friendly, festive green. Endless reusable, what we love about this pompom garland is that they can be reused multiple times for different occasions.


6. Ian Snow Bauble Garland

Snow bauble garland

Add an elegant touch to your tree with an Ian Snow bauble garland. Crafted with 20 small frosted metallic glass baubles, this garland not only beautifies your tree but supports sustainable and responsible craftsmanship.



How Do You Decorate a Tree Without Tinsel?

Now that you have some alternative eco-friendly tinsel options in mind, it's time to decorate your Christmas tree without traditional tinsel. It’s not only the tinsel you should be thinking about when it comes to sustainability. Switch to a reusable fabric tree skirt to cover your trees base, it could be an old piece of fabric that you’ve upcycled, try to use energy-efficient LED Christmas lights and top your Christmas tree with a homemade star or reusable topper. Then there’s the Christmas tree itself, should you go for a real or fake tree? We've written more about this debate in our guide on choosing a sustainable Christmas tree.


How Can I Decorate My House Sustainably for Christmas?

There are so many ways to decorate your house more sustainably for Christmas. You could start with natural decor using natural elements like pinecones, holly and pine branches that can all be composted after Christmas. If you're feeling crafty, you can also make your own eco-friendly tinsel at home. For example, you can make paper chains from old magazines or newspapers, garlands from dried citrus fruits or even replace tinsel with ribbons.


By embracing these eco-friendly tinsel alternatives and sustainable decorating ideas, you can create a Christmas wonderland that not only looks beautiful but also reflects your sustainable views.

Need more ideas for a sustainable Christmas? Read our ultimate guide to a sustainable Christmas, including our favourite advent calendars, homemade edible gifts, and some ideas for eco-friendly gifts and gift wrapping this festive season.



Written by Charlie Gill


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