Doing well for the environment is tough during the holidays. For those of us in the United States, most of our cherished traditions involve indulging in the extra – new gifts, festive wrapping paper, excessive food and drink, flamboyant decorations. There’s nothing wrong with liking any of these things—it’s fun! But it is hard to celebrate in the traditional ways while also upholding the tenants of sustainability: reduce, reuse, recycle.
So here’s at least one thing you can do: make your own wreath using only materials from your backyard rather than buying a new one! This is perhaps not a great option for those who seek perfection in their holiday décor, but if you like a creative challenge that will result in a wreath full of character and personality, this is the ticket.
We tried it ourselves at the Heifer office! Our wreath was, if nothing else, a conversation piece. Here’s how we did it:
1.Forage for material
We went foraging in at our Heifer campus, gathering twigs, leaves, grasses, cedar clippings and we even found a bird’s nest. Anything goes!
2.Weave your backyard detritus into a wreath shape
We made the bones of the wreath by braiding long reeds together. We gave ourselves points for creativity, but our structural integrity left something to be desired. If you want to make something a little more lasting, there are tons of tutorials online for how to make wreaths with sticks and twigs.
3.Decorate and admire your wreath!
Next we decorated our wreath frame with whatever pieces of flora we wanted. We mostly just stuck things in between the braids, but we did use a little twine to attach some parts. The key, we found, is to not get discouraged. If things are looking rough, soldier on! It will get better, probably. Continuing to add things until it looked like a wreath seemed to work for us.
Reviews on our final product included, “Whoa,” “Those sticks are really wild,” “It smells so good,” and “That might be a biohazard.” In other words, 10/10.