It’s the first week and first weekend in December and many of you will be thinking about getting out or buying a Christmas tree. It’s an annual ritual we all seem to go crazy for but before you do it’s worth a few minutes to think of the options.

First choice: getting a plastic or PVC tree. This is the most common option these days and if you’ve already got one in the attic its possibly the best option from an environmental and cost point of view as the problems have already been caused – to say nothing of the extra sentiment involved in the same tree every year. If you buy a second-hand tree it also extends their life and gets more usage out of it. Buying a new PVC tree is not an environmentally or family friendly move – the plastic they’re made of isn’t biodegradable and slowly releases its chemicals into the air around it which can contribute to poor air quality in the home in the month you’re least likely to air out.

Second choice: getting a real tree. When you’re getting a real tree there is one phrase to keep in mind – where did it come from, where is it going. Tree’s can be grown in many places and you want to make sure that it’s coming from a sustainable source. Organic is better but difficult to find and a lot more expensive. The more local the tree is the better. Once Christmas is over the question is where is it going? Many councils have a chipping scheme where the chips are sold for landscaping or compost but wherever it goes make sure it does not end up in the landfill. It’s also possible to rent trees which are then replanted after Christmas from companies like this and this.

The third choice is to make your own tree. As long as it is vaguely triangle shaped and you can get LED lights and a couple of decorations on it kids will tend to like. I’ve seen trees made from balloons, twigs, books, ladders and cardboard but my favorite has to be the book tree below.


If you’re short on space it’s also possible to draw a tree on wall either in chalk, with washi tape or as a stencil.

All in all, all three choices have their benefits – just think of the environment as well as your wallet when you decide.


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