Nontoxic Christmas Decorations

2020

Deck the halls with these nontoxic ideas!

I love the holiday decorating traditions! Do you deck the halls, hang mistletoe, light your yard brightly, set up a tree, or do all of this and more? If this sounds like you, you will definitely be interested in the nontoxic ideas in this blog.

It can get very frustrating when you want to make everything festive and also have concerns about you and your family being exposed to harmful chemicals. Did you know that most Christmas lights contain lead and that the majority of decorations are made with harmful chemicals like flame retardants, leeching plastics, and toxic paints as well as metals like lead, Cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and bromine? A 2014 study by our friends at HealthyStuff.org evaluated 69 seasonal holiday products and found that over two-thirds of them contained at least one of those chemicals at levels of concern.

I personally had no idea that I was exposing my family to these harmful chemicals by doing something traditional like decorating for the holidays! Here are a few options and alternatives I discovered that have made my home ready for the holidays just like it always was, with a few modifications. I know this can be overwhelming and stressful. My hope is that my selection will create awareness and ease, not stress.

Tree

If you want a live tree, you may want to call several growers in the area and find one that sprayed herbicide and pesticides on their crop in July or earlier in the year. Six months back felt like long enough to not have the tree coated in chemicals coming into the home. Organic would be ideal! But, unfortunately, organic trees are not that easy to find.

Do you want to cut down your own tree? Use this site to find a farm close to you!

If you prefer an artificial tree, avoid flame retardants on them and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which can contain and release lead dust into the air.

Honestly, I don’t have many options here for you as most of the artificial trees are made of things I definitely don’t want in my home and absolutely wouldn’t want my kids to be near. If you MUST go this route, and you are buying a tree at a big box store or utilizing one you already have in storage, wash your hands after setting up the tree, try your best to keep little hands away from it, and set up a HEPA filter in the same room.

One safe alternative is the trees that are sold at IKEA! They’re made with polyethylene and polypropylene (two MUCH safer plastics!)

Lights

Want Christmas lights that don’t contain lead? Want safer electronics in general? (It’s often the PVC insulation over the wiring in MANY electronics that causes the exposure since it can contain lead and phthalates) Your best bet is to look for items that comply to the RoHS standard. Thanks to the European Union for creating this certification to protect their consumers, the amount of toxic chemicals in products with this label are incredibly minimal, if any at all.
I was so thankful to find the following RoHS-certified lights affordable and right on Amazon:

Decorations

It’s really unfortunate that there really aren’t many alternatives to those bright plastic garlands, tinsel, and bows. Here are some of the results from the HealthyStuff.org study:

There are a lot of natural wood decor options (like these untreated pine cones) and while I don’t want toxins in the home, I personally want something with some color and POP on the tree and around the house. Boiled wool garlands can also brighten up the tree. You can buy loose wool balls and create your own (more cost effective) or buy them pre-strung! There is also this incredibly affordable nontoxic PET plastic garland!

Christmas is a little different around here than before I learned about the toxins in everyday products. My hope is that a few of these ideas will help make your decorating a little easier.

May you have a stress free, enjoyable holiday season filled with love, light, hope, and lots of (nontoxic) sparkle!

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