A few months ago, I officially moved out of my childhood home, which means I have the freedom to decorate my new house however I want to, which includes Christmas decorations. Now, as I have been slowly learning and making new changes to living a more eco-conscious life, I have been faced with the reality of Christmas trees and how non-eco-friendly they are.
I have grown up getting a real Christmas tree every year, and I understand why. There is something magical about the smell of the tree and the adventure of going to choose it at the lot with family. But with that also comes the negative effects that cutting down trees has to the environment.
I never want to purposefully harm the environment, which is why I strive to become more sustainable, but when it comes to the holiday season, I feel that we only have two options when it comes to Christmas trees- getting a real one or a fake one that collects dust in the attic all year round only to be taken out for 3 weeks of the entire year. Now I know that fake, plastic Christmas trees are less messy and can last long-term, but that does not make them any better than getting a real Christmas tree. In fact, over 90% of fake Christmas trees are shipped overseas, emitting carbon emissions into the air, and most of them are non-recyclable and end up in landfills when people feel they have fulfilled their purpose.
Unlike fake Christmas trees, live trees are able to be recycled and produce less carbon emissions into the air than fake ones do, which technically makes them the greener choice. They also take about a decade to grow and a new one is typically planted immediately after.
Although this information may be true, if you feel that neither option is suitable in regard to living a more eco-conscious life, I have included some more sustainable alternatives to Christmas trees that have little to no harm on the environment.
- Potted Christmas trees
I first found out about potted Christmas trees through a Canadian company called Evergrow Christmas Trees that deliver, set up, pick up and REPLANT your potted Christmas tree. Once I found out that this was even possible, I wanted one right away. This is the perfect alternative to if you feel guilty about getting a real Christmas tree. Unfortunately, for all my readers who are not Canadian, a company such as this one may be hard to find.
I have searched locally for another company similar to Evergrow Christmas Trees (@evergrowchristmastrees on Instagram), and I haven’t been able to find one even remotely similar. If having a live Christmas tree with that ripe pine smell is important to you, I suggest searching for local companies that may sell you a potted Christmas Tree that can be replanted. If you are not able to find something similar, you can always grow your own potted Christmas tree all year round OR start up a company in your city that has the same objective as Evergrow!
2. Christmas Lights Christmas Tree
With just a set of nails and some Christmas lights, you can make your own Christmas tree without needing the actual tree. All you have to do is find a place for your no-waste Christmas tree, string your lights across the nails, and VOILA! You have a Christmas tree!
This is an exceptional idea, not only for those that want to be more eco-conscious, but also those that live in smaller spaces and may not be able to have/afford a real Christmas tree (such as in a dorm). It also gives the space the same warm and welcoming vibes that real Christmas trees do when lit up!
3. Wooden Christmas Trees
One of my favorite ways to decorate and be more eco-friendly is to use what is given to you in nature.
One way to do so is by making a Christmas tree with wooden logs that you have found outside and some nails.
If you don’t live near a forest or a place with many logs or wood, you can always go to your local park and see what you can find nearby. Did I mention that this idea also costs $0 (assuming you have the nails and a hammer, of course!
Although I have decided to get a real tree for my place this year, I hope that these alternatives have encouraged you to get a little creative and have helped you towards a life of zero-waste!
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