For many families the start of the holiday season is marked with choosing a holiday tree. Each holiday season more than 25 million coniferous trees are cut and sold as holiday decorations. Although, the holiday tree is an important symbol of the holidays, it can be a hard choose to make when considering the environment.
It can take up to 15 years to grow a holiday tree that will be used for about a month. Many holiday tree farms use large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers which pollute the waterways, land and poison wildlife. Then after the holiday season, these trees usually disposed of in our local landfills.
You do have options when it comes to choosing a holiday tree and many of those choices can be friendly to the environment - and beautiful in your home too. Here are my top 6 favorite holiday tree alternatives.
1. A Potted Holiday Tree: You will see many varieties of potted trees that are available at your local, organic nurseries. When choosing a potted tree, consider one that you will be able to replant in your own backyard or that can stay indoors all year. If planting in your own backyard isn't an option, you can donate the tree to an organization that will plant the tree for you. Remember when purchasing your tree that you will want to buy one that is indigenous to your region and will fit in your yard, once it becomes full grown.
2. Rent a Tree: There are many companies popping up our there that you can rent a holiday tree from. These companies will deliver a full sized holiday tree to your home and then picked up after the holiday season is over. These companies use minimal energy to bring the tree to you since the trees are locally and organically grown, then delivered to your doorstep via a bio diesel truck. When the holiday season ends, they nuture the tree until the following year or plant them in local parks, watersheds or schools.
3. A Reusable Tree: There are many reusable tree options available that are PVC free. I have seen trees made from magazines, reclaimed wood, recycled glass bottles, cardboard, and even tinker toys. Many of these options are available for purchase, however, I think that it would be more fun to build one of these alternatives with your family as a holiday tradition.
4. Local, Organic Cut Tree: Although purchasing a potted tree or renting a tree would be the more Eco friendly option, many people still prefer the convenience and affordability of a cut tree. To minimize your cut tree's impact on the environment, purchase it from a local, organic tree farm. Organic tree farms grow the trees without the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Most organic tree farms, also plant 1-3 seedlings for every tree that is cut down. Remember if possible to recycle your tree when the holiday is over.
5. Decorate a houseplant: There are many large potted houseplants that you can decorate for the holidays. You could also choose to decorate an outside tree. The best part is that these "trees" can be enjoyed all year long and when the holidays come around again next year, you are already prepared.
6. Deck the Walls: Use cardboard, paper, paints or even lights to create a holiday tree on any wall in your home. There are also companies that sell reusable canvas holiday tree stickers that are bright, colorful and festive. You can arrange the gifts on the floor belong your wall tree.
I hope these suggestions give you some inspiration when choosing your Eco friendly holiday tree this year.
If your family celebrates with a holiday tree, what Eco friendly alternatives have you found?
Is there a tried and true "green" tree that your family enjoys?
Potted Tree, Rented Tree, Wooden Tree, Local, Organic Tree, Light Tree