5 Edible Ornament Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree

The increased shopping, decorating, activities and events associated with the holiday season leads to an increase in household waste of nearly 25% during the weeks following Thanksgiving. While the waste generated from the replacement of holiday Christmas tree decorations with new commercial ornaments is only one part of the holiday waste stream increase; there are more environmentally friendly ways to decorate the holiday tree. Edible Christmas ornaments are a practical, fun way to decorate the Christmas tree with minimal environmental impact and there are a few easy, edible Christmas ornament ideas to help reduce waste this holiday season.

Get Creative with Gingerbread Cutouts. Nothing says Christmas like gingerbread. The smell of freshly baked gingerbread alone fills a house with warm, holiday cheer. As material for Christmas tree ornaments–the possibilities with gingerbread are limited only by the imagination. Find a favorite gingerbread recipe, cut into desired holiday shapes and hang the cut-outs onto the Christmas tree.

Take Advantage of Colorful Candy Canes. Simply hang various sizes of candy canes on the Christmas tree for fun, edible decorations. Many commercial candy canes are loaded with preservatives and food coloring–making them not so festive to many. Check out companies, such as Pure Fun, that make healthier candy canes or try making your own homemade candy canes using beet powder instead of food coloring to tint the red stripes.

Create Edible Holiday Garlands. Edible garland is loads of fun for both the kids and the adults to make-and eat-and can be made from an endless list of food items. Popcorn and cranberries are two of the most common edible garlands–but, again, the possibilities are unlimited. Some string chocolate dipped pretzels onto licorice strings or tie candy canes or cereal pieces into festive garlands. With a little imagination, the colors and combination of shapes and textures can turn a boring tree into a unique, colorful one.

Decorate with Wrapped Candies. During the holidays, candy wrappers become shimmering shades of the holidays–and make perfect edible, Christmas tree ornaments. Gold chocolate coins, foil wrapped hard candies, and handcrafted ornaments such as candy trains or wreaths are all fun, edible ways to decorate the holiday tree. Again, try to use environmentally friendly or organic candy makers.

Use Cookie Decorations. Gingerbread isn’t the only cookie suitable for the Christmas tree. Decorated sugar cookies are also both easy to make and easy to attach to the holiday tree. Of course, the options hardly end there–virtually any hard cookie that doesn’t require refrigeration turns into an edible Christmas ornament.


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