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Fall and winter are both very high waste seasons, and it is important to try to limit how much we buy and waste during this time of the year. 

Pumpkins are definitely more sustainable than buying new plastic decorations – especially if you compost them at the end of the season. However, they still contribute to food waste. If you are trying to enjoy fall without wasting pumpkins, you should read this article on other ways to decorate for the season.

Pumpkins might be the most popular fall decoration, but it certainly isn’t the only option. The only limit is your mind when it comes to creating zero waste fall decorations! You can easily transform all kinds of items into beautiful fall decorations in order to reduce your holiday waste.

Here are some ideas to help you create zero waste fall decor while saving some money as well!

How to Decorate for Fall Without Wasting Pumpkins

Pumpkins are probably one of the most wasted items around this time of year. People buy them, display them, then toss them in the trash to make way for Christmas. It is an incredibly wasteful habit, especially considering the countries that are starving as we use food as decorations.

If you want to reduce your waste this season and stop wasting pumpkins, here are some ideas that you can use to still decorate for the season without creating more waste.

Go Natural

One of the easiest ways to cut back on your waste this fall and avoid wasting precious pumpkins. Is to start decorating with nature. This is the perfect element to decorate with since fall is all about the changing of the seasons!

Go for a walk and see what kinds of treasures you can find or go scavenging through your backyard. Items like branches, dried leaves, pine cones, and nuts are all amazing natural items to decorate with. They go perfectly with the festivities of fall.

You can create all kinds of beautiful decorations with these kinds of nature-y items. the best part is that they are not only zero waste, but entirely free!

You can either display them as they are in their natural state or upcycle them into something else.

Make Toilet Paper Roll Pumpkins

Another amazing zero waste fall decoration that keeps you from wasting pumpkins is making toilet paper roll pumpkins! These are created out of the cardboard roll that is left after you have used up the toilet paper. Paint this cardboard roll and cut it into circular strips and tie them together. The little circles will spread out into a pumpkin shape. You can then add a twig stem or a cinnamon stick at the top.

These create adorable decorations still give you your pumpkin fix without wasting pumpkins. It is also a great way to recycle those cardboard tubes that would otherwise be tossed with no further purpose.

Thrift Fall Decor

One amazing way to avoid wasting pumpkins while still decorating for fall is to go thrift shopping. Thrift shops during this time will be putting out their second-hand stock of festive decor. Giving you the perfect option to buy decor without creating more waste.

You can find all kinds of amazing decor during this time of the year without having to buy anything new. Not only are you recycling these types of items, but you are saving money as well!

This gives you the option to still be able to have fun shopping for fall decor without adding to the seasonal waste created by shopping for new items.

This is also a great place to find decorative pumpkins that can be used year after year, unlike real pumpkins that must be thrown out at some point.

Use Dried Fruit and Spices

Dried fruit and spices are a beautiful and rustic way to appreciate this time of the season without wasting pumpkins.

You can create beautiful garlands, wreaths, and arrangements using dried fruit and spices. Like dried orange slices, apple slices, and dried berries. Spices like star anise, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon sticks are all beautiful options as well.

Not only will these natural items look beautiful, but they will also give your home a deliciously festive scent as well!

The spices can easily be stored away and reused for next year, and if the fruit is preserved well, it can also be used for several years.

These kinds of items are often sold around this time of year, but you can also dry the fruit yourself and buy the spices. This is a cheaper option and gives you more control over your decor.

Decorate with Knitwear

Knitwear is the universal sign of coziness which is perfect for this time of year. So, why not use that coziness and transform it into decorations to get you in the fall spirit?

You can use old knitwear like socks or sweaters that no longer fit to create big squishy pumpkins. Or you can simply have stacks of knitwear around your home as decor.

Thrifting is also a great way to find old knitwear that still has some years left. You can transform these into more knitted pumpkins or cut them up into small lap blankets or throw pillows.

There are all kinds of cute decorating ideas that you can use knitwear to create a cozy home. While decreasing your seasonal waste output.

Use What you Have

The most obvious choice that you have to decrease your seasonal waste is to use what you already have.

This could mean making your own decorations out of things that you have around the house, or transforming old decorations for the season.

There are all kinds of amazing things that you can use to make fall decor, such as cardboard, toilet paper rolls, paper, and wood.

Looking at places like Pinterest is a great way to get inspiration to turn your old items into something festive and new. Not only is this a fun way to get into the festive mood, but it is also cost-effective for holidays on a budget.

Many store-bought decorations can easily be replicated at home with old items that you have laying around.

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