Christmas is a magical season. The time spent with family and friends create memories that last throughout the entire year. For many, decorating is one of the most enjoyable parts of the holiday. If you want to have a “green” Christmas this year, it is important to note that you can still have fun and decorate in a festive fashion. The following ideas will help you keep the environment in mind as you seek out the perfect tree for your home.
Opt for a Live Tree
If you are choosing between a live or an artificial tree, always go with the real version. While they are growing, live trees provide a home to squirrels, birds and other wildlife. In addition, they also help humans by providing oxygen to breathe and getting rid of carbon dioxide in the air.
In contrast, artificial trees provide no real benefits for the Earth. Because they can’t be recycled, they simply wind up as trash at a landfill. In addition, they are made with a whole host of materials that you probably don’t want around your family, including PVC and petrochemicals.
If you want to really go “green” when selecting your live tree, make sure that it is organic. Search for tree sellers that have an organic option online, and you can feel safe in the knowledge that you are bringing home a tree that was grown without the use of pesticides.
Think Outside the Box
There are a number of Christmas tree alternatives on the market, and all make more environmental sense than chopping down a living fir or pine. Recycled cardboard trees can be purchased unfinished, allowing you to add your own decorative touch. Some are even able to support the ornaments that you would typically put on a living tree. And, there are low voltage, energy efficient LED lights on the market that can safely be strung on these “trees.”
If cardboard isn’t right for you, there are living options that can be used at your residence year-round, making them much more eco-friendly than a traditional tree. Consider a small version of the Christmas tree or an herbal bush that will enhance the atmosphere of your living space. Also, paper trees are unique and recyclable!
Switch up Your Strategy
Rather than cutting anything down, decorate a tree outdoors instead! You and your family will still have the opportunity to make memories together, and you won’t have to deal with the mess that typically results from bringing a tree inside. As an added bonus, there’s no chance of bringing in little pests with your tree if the tree stays outside. Not only that, but the tree that you choose to decorate will continuing living and helping the Earth long after the decorations come down and the weather grows warmer.
Christmas is a special time of the year. It is important to remember, though, that it is possible to decorate for the holidays while still maintaining a green mindset. Since a tree is one of the symbols of Christmas, start by considering how you can do things a little differently this year. You won’t regret it, and you may discover a new tradition that you truly love in the process.
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Photo by Trey Ratcliff