A Quick Question... How Green is your Christmas Tree?
Artificial Christmas trees are the easy option for celebrating the festive season, but before you buy one, consider that an artificial tree is a petroleum-based plastic that is not biodegradable.
When decorating for the festive season, few give thought to the Christmas tree and various assorted decorations used for the home and yet, most of these are manufactured using non-biodegradable materials. If you are looking to live a greener lifestyle, there's more to that than just recycling your household waste. If you are thinking about buying a new Christmas tree this year, consider the following beforehand:
1. LOOK AT RESTORING YOUR OLD CHRISTMAS TREE
Christmas trees are normally thrown out when they become a little worn out or have broken components. But before you toss yours on the trash heap, think about ways you could revitalise your old tree and give it a new lease on life. Sometimes giving an old tree some TLC will have it looking new again. Perhaps it has been stored incorrectly and the foliage has gone flat. Remedy that by soaking the tree in a bathtub with warm soapy water before shaking it out to dry. A good cleaning will lift the flat foliage and have it looking almost new again. Any loose stem branches can be refastened using thin wire.
A little fluffing up, some additional dressing to fill in any gaps, and your old Christmas tree will be good for a few more years.
2. GROW A PINE OR SPRUCE TREE IN YOUR GARDEN
Ditch your artificial tree in favour of a live tree. A visit to your local nursery or garden centre will fill you in on the various options available for planting in a medium container that can easily be moved indoors for the festive season.
It might not be ready for use this year or next year, but if you follow our tips in the step above, you can extend the life of your existing artificial tree until the garden-grown live tree is ready for use. Once the holidays are over, take the tree back outdoors, trim to keep it compact and limit growth and it will serve you well for many, many years.
3. TAKE CHRISTMAS OUTDOORS
In conjunction with the above point, plant a live tree close to your outdoor entertainment area and decorate this for the festive season. We are lucky to have a climate that allows us to flow easily between indoors and outdoors over the festive season, and most already spend more time outdoors at Christmas time. Decorate the tree as you would indoors, substituting with exterior LED lights on the tree.
4. MAKE A DIY CHRISTMAS TREE
There are plenty of sustainable materials that can be used to make a Christmas tree, from cardboard to SA Pine. You can decorate the tree with what nature provides using pine cones, driftwood, popcorn garlands and leftover scraps of fabric and ribbon. Pop onto Pinterest or Instagram for your inspiration and choose materials that you can work with using whatever tools you own.
At the end of the day, just like you recycle household waste, manage your electricity and water usage, take the step to be more green as part of your lifestyle and not just as a chore.