Monday, December 1, 2014

A Green Christmas, Part 3: Nature Finds

A green Christmas wouldn't be complete without some real greens decking your halls, staircase, table or... anywhere really. By using nature to decorate you are actually helping to preserve it- as all living things must die and then decompose (and then could become some pretty fantastic fertilizer). Artificial plants and trees, on the other hand, are meant to last indefinitely- and they do, in the garbage dumps, forever and evah. If you are in the market for a new Christmas tree then the live version is the most eco-friendly choice. Recycling them after the holidays is getting easy, too, as more and more townships are offering curb-side pick-up for recycling into mulch. If your town doesn't offer this service then check here for other recyclable options. If you absolutely can't purchase a live tree then buying a used artificial tree would be the next best choice. It also means that you won't have to worry about the toxic off-gassing that new artificial trees perfume your home with, either.

This little guy is a Norfolk Island Pine sold at Meijer for $6. Keeping with my color scheme, I switched out the red paper that was wrapped around the base with some thrift store sheet music. Right now it is adding a festive touch to my kitchen table but after the holidays it will go up to my bedroom to help purify the air. This is a good thing to remember when shopping for holiday greenery: live plants purify the air and artificials, at least while new, are adding toxins to it. The Norfolk Pine comes from Hawaii so it will always be an indoor plant but depending on where you live and the type of evergreen tree used, your holiday decor can be planted in your yard come spring.

Your yard is a great place for finding nature-made decorations. In the photo above, pomander balls (oranges with cloves stuck in them) are nestled in a bowl of clipped evergreen branches from my front yard. The three rose hips were salvaged from the fall pruning of the backyard rose bushes. Get creative with the pomander balls and try different patterns with the cloves. This has a nice subtle fragrance but the best part of using material from your garden: it's free!

Part of this next project came from my yard as well and was inspired by two different decorating books. In a Southern Living holiday book they had two Manitoba branches threaded through a chandelier that looked similar to the fixture in my dining room. In I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas, Anna Getty placed large branches in a vase and hung thrift store chandelier crystals off of them. I loved both ideas so much they just had to be combined.

I didn't have any luck finding chandelier crystals but I did come across a bag of the icicles (in the photo above) for $3 at Savers. Since the icicles already came equipped with little metal hooks, hanging them on the branches that were cut from my tree was a cinch.

Adding nature finds to your holiday decorating decor is a wonderful way to pay homage to all this beautiful world has to offer. It is a breath of fresh air for your home and your lungs. It also doesn't get more economical then when it is cut right from your own backyard!

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