Christmas is fast-approaching meaning that many people will start putting up Christmas trees to decorate them! As wonderful as this tradition is, many trees will end up going to waste. There has been an ongoing debate about whether an artificial tree or a real tree is the more eco-friendly alternative. If you are also wondering what the better alternative is, and what other alternatives exist, you can read about it below!
Artificial trees are made with a petroleum-based plastic called PVC. Petroleum-based products are very damaging to the environment and humans. On top of that artificial trees can't be recycled and end up in the trash at the end of their lives. However, they can be reused for many years. It has been found that an artificial tree would have to be reused for more than 20 years for it to be greener than buying a fresh-cut tree annually. So, if you are willing to commit to 20 years with the same tree, it might be the better alternative to buying real trees.
Each year, around 50 to 60 millions Christmas trees are cut down in Europe. That's a very big number, however Christmas trees are usually grown in specific tree farms, and while they are growing, help offset carbon in the atmosphere. Real trees can also be recycled in many ways - they can be composted, used for backyard habitat and more.
Fabric/DIY Christmas Tree
Another Christmas tree alternative is the image of a tree printed on a large piece of fabric. That way you can pin decorations on it and put some pine scented essential oils to have it smell, look and feel like a true Christmas tree! You can either buy one online or even turn it into a small DIY project for yourself and the kids! Another idea is to collect some sticks that have fallen and shape them into a Christmas tree with some string and hang ornaments from that! These ideas can be reused for many years and you can have a guilt free Christmas.
Cardboard Christmas Tree
You can also check out "Les Cartons d'Anais" for a Christmas tree made out of cardboard! They make Christmas trees made of re-used cardboard boxes that can be unfolded and assembled very easily. Plus, the cardboard their creations are made out is collected from shops from the neighbourhood.
Rent a Christmas Tree
Another great alternative is renting a Christmas tree! You can rent a Christmas tree for the holiday season and after the season is over, return it so that it can be put to other uses rather than being thrown away.
Potted Christmas Tree
A great alternative for real trees is buying a potted one. Potted trees come with their roots still attached, and with a little bit of care and effort, you can keep it alive to keep in the backyard as a tree or keep in the pot to use again next year!