There are increasingly more alternative ways to celebrate the holidays that have a minimal impact on the environment.
For years the debate has been real versus fake tree. Obviously real trees aren’t environmentally friendly. With 50 million fir/pine trees purchased each year, 30 million of which will head to a landfill after the holidays, the impact is evident. Plastic trees pose another environmental issue though as plastic is not a sustainable material. So what do it yourself alternatives are out there to fill your holiday decorative desires? Fortunately, there are quite a few options.
A popular choice is creating a tree outline on your family room wall using decals, decorations, wood, or any materials that you like, even lights. This has become a huge DIY trend in recent years and the ‘trees’ are becoming more elaborate and more creative. You can hang wood branches or lights to frame the shape of a tree and then hang or pin any decorations to the wall just like a normal tree.
Another idea that has become very popular is the book tree. It is simple as it requires just the books from your personal collection. Stack the books in a circular form and make the circle gradually smaller as it ascends. Then add lights or a star at the top to complete this readable tree.
In addition to these DIY options you can also purchase a number of ecofriendly tree alternatives. From trees with wooden bases topped with candles, to recycled cardboard or wooden tree cut outs there are a multitude of options to choose from. Another great idea is to use a living tree, in a pot with earth, such as a small rosemary bush. A natural air freshener and edible addition to any meal, this tree will be useful throughout the year.
Whatever you decide to do whether it is borrowing from your library to fashion your tree or transforming your family room wall into a festive tree shaped decal try to take an extra step to minimize your impact on the environment this year.
With the holidays around the corner it is easy to put aside or forget our responsibility towards the environment. From trees to gift wrap the holidays can be a time of tremendous waste. According to the EPA and Use Less Stuff, from Thanksgiving to New Years Day household waste increases by more than 25%. Food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons add an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills.
So before you buy your tree or twenty different shades of green gift wrap consider some of these ecofriendly tree alternatives as your gift to the environment this holiday season.