Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Find out what's hot in environmentally friendly Christmas decorations.
By: Caren Baginski


LED lights save energy and come in a variety of colors.

LED lights save energy and come in a variety of colors.

We're not just talking green as in garland and trees - this year Christmas decor is going eco-friendly with energy-saving products and manufacturing processes. Got a faux tree in the basement? This is the year to go greener with a real Christmas tree, fresh garlands and the latest in Christmas lights.

Christmas Lights

Forget that tangled mess of Christmas lights that blow out year after year. LED Christmas lights are brighter, cool to the touch and, if one goes out, the rest stay lit. Plus, they're entirely eco-friendly and save money on your electricity bill.

LED lights are brighter because the light actually comes from inside the chip itself, which is manufactured in a particle-free environment to prevent impurities. A colored cap surrounds the LED, giving off the colored glow. Look for trendy colors of warm whites and purples this year in the faceted cone and berry shapes.

While they may cost a little more, LEDs tend to stay lit for the lifetime of the product, which means fewer to no replacements. Plus, there's no heat transfer so they're safer to use on any living or faux foliage.

Fresh, Not Faux Garlands

Traditional decorating incorporates live wreaths and fresh garlands this year - both indoors and out. "When it comes to holiday decorating, people get very traditional," says Jennifer Sypeck, director of trend and product development for Smith & Hawken. "The holidays are not just about the visual, but about scents and smells that also evoke good memories."

Smith & Hawken's popular sellers include basic spruce, eucalyptus, pepperberry and magnolia. And the square wreath is making a comeback, highlighted with eucalyptus. Sypeck is seeing nontraditional uses of fresh greens, such as a wreath around a hurricane vase as a centerpiece for a table or on the backs of dining room chairs. She also suggests filling an unused fireplace with lights and greenery as an unexpected landing for Santa.

Christmas Tree: Real or Not?

Contrary to popular belief, cutting down a Christmas tree is not bad for the environment. Trees can always be replanted, but the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) released during the manufacturing of faux Christmas trees can't be removed from the atmosphere or soil.

According to the Children's Health Environmental Coalition, PVC creates and disperses dioxins, which include the most toxic manmade chemical known. The dioxins accumulate in fatty tissues of both people and animals, causing risks for cancer, lowering immune functions and impairing children's development.

Kids will be safer playing around a real Christmas tree, and with 35 species to choose from, there's sure to be one that will suit your decorating needs. Rick Dungey, public relations manager for the National Christmas Tree Association, says an estimated 40-45 million new trees are planted on farms in the U.S. and Canada each year. Plus, after the holiday is over, your Christmas tree can be mulched or naturally decompose outdoors, while artificial trees are relegated to the dump.

Gifts That Give Back

Christmas produces much waste each year in wrapping paper, shopping bags and packaging for store-bought Christmas presents, so it's good to know some companies are taking this to heart.

Department 56 packs all their villages in eco-friendly plastic foam, which doesn't have petroleum.

The nature of Smith & Hawken's business is green, so they focus on holiday gifts that give back to the environment. Their "gifts that grow" bulb kits come in white, red, deep burgundy and pinks with stylish vases. Red is the bestseller by far for the holiday, says Sypeck.

Next Up

How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like a Professional

Not sure if you should start with the lights, the ornaments or the topper? Follow our step-by-step guide for the best way to trim your holiday tree.

The Best Eco-Friendly Home and Decor Products

How green can you go? Shop our favorite new sustainable finds.

18 Eco-Friendly Travel Gift Ideas

Shop our sustainable travel gift picks sure to please every responsible traveler on your list. (We even found eco-friendly gift wrap.) Shop on, planet-loving friends.

Chelsea and Cole DeBoer Shared Their Ultimate Holiday Traditions with HGTV, and We're Ready to Copy Them All

Treats, magical decor, family fun — the Down Home Fab hosts know how to celebrate the holidays. Take a look into their rituals, then try them for yourself.

12 'White House Christmas' Crafters Came Up With the Coolest DIY Decorating Ideas

We need to try these Christmas decorating ideas out at home: homemade ornaments, recipe garlands, sugarplum-inspired apples and more.

10 Pink Christmas Trees That Bring Barbiecore to Your Holiday Decor

It's your own pink world and we're just living in it.

20 Christmas Decorations You Can Buy on Amazon for Less Than $25

Guilt-free holiday decor shopping? We're adding everything to our cart.

Brighten Your Yard With the Best Christmas Inflatables

Deck out your lawn this holiday season with the most fun and sure-to-delight Christmas inflatables.

The Best Outdoor Christmas Lights to Make Your House Merry and Bright

After you've decked your halls and your tree, it's time to take the holiday glow outside. We've rounded up the best sparkle and shine for your home's exterior.

6 Easy DIY Christmas Decor Projects From 'White House Christmas'

Deck your home's halls with White House-worthy DIY holiday decorations from our favorite bloggers — as seen on White House Christmas 2022. Get ready to get inspired.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.


My Lottery Dream Home

10:30am | 9:30c

My Lottery Dream Home

11:30am | 10:30c

Bargain Block

1pm | 12c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

House Hunters

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

8:30pm | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

House Hunters

12am | 11c

House Hunters

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.