As the leaves start to change colors and the air becomes crisp, the store shelves full of festive and fun decorations are hard to resist! Here are some considerations when getting in the spirit of autumn.
Sustainable Fall Decor
- Natural Elements: Leaves, pinecones, acorns, and branches can be gathered from your own yard. Arrange them in baskets, vases, or on your mantel. Natural materials decompose harmlessly, reducing waste.
- Pumpkins and Gourds: Locally sourced pumpkins and gourds are classic fall decorations that can be composted after the season.
- Reusable: Invest in reusable items that can be stored and used for years, reducing the need to purchase new decorations annually.
- Repurpose: Get creative by repurposing items you already have at home. Mason jars can be turned into charming candle holders, old flannel shirts can be transformed into throw pillow covers, and old sheets can be darling ghosts!
- Shop Local: Support local artisans! Handcrafted, locally made items often have a lower carbon footprint compared to mass-produced decorations.
- Edible: Incorporate edible items like apples, cinnamon sticks, and dried corn into your decorations and centerpieces. Compost at the end of the season.
What to Avoid:
- Fake Spiderwebs: While fake spiderwebs are a popular Halloween decoration, they are often made from synthetic materials that do not biodegrade. These decorations can become litter and harm wildlife like birds, butterflies, and bees.
- Plastic Pumpkins: Decorations made from plastic contribute to the accumulation of plastic waste.
- Disposable: Decorations designed for a single-use, such as paper streamers or disposable banners, generate unnecessary waste and contribute to deforestation.
- Chemically Treated: Decorations treated with chemicals for flame resistance or color preservation can release harmful substances into the environment. Choose untreated or naturally dyed items whenever possible.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2020). Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. https://www.epa.gov/recycle