Holiday Crafts

Published on November 24th, 2010 | by Maria


Your Christmas Tree: Five Alternatives

cut christmas trees
There’s not much in this world that smells as good and looks as nice than a fresh Christmas tree. The warmth, the feelings, and the memories that it conjures up is what the holidays are all about. Lately, though, I’ve been torn. Should I really be cutting down a beautiful tree just to keep in my home for a few weeks? This year I’m going to explore more eco-friendly options. Here are five earth friendly and unique alternatives to the traditional Christmas tree.

Next >> Living Christmas Tree

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About the Author

Hey there! I'm Maria Raffaelle and I currently live in Chicago, IL. I have a passion for all things eco-friendly in makeup, skincare, haircare, and fashion. The crafter in me loves to put a DIY twist on beauty too! One of my goals is to help women realize that they are all beautiful; no matter their size, shape, or skin. Let's celebrate the beauty in each of us, together!

15 Responses to Your Christmas Tree: Five Alternatives

  1. MadScientistK says:

    I guess it isn’t very ecologically sound in some ways, unless you get a second-hand one, but a good artificial tree lasts a really long time. My grandpa’s artificial tree was in use for at least 20 years that I know of, as was my mom’s last tree; and the only reason she bought a new one was to get a pre-lit one (it is not fun to string lights on a 12-foot tree). I think that if there is enough demand, an artificial tree made from recycled plastics would be produced.

    • Maria Dryden says:

      I love the idea of recycled plastic artificial trees! Soda bottles, water bottles, the resources are endless. I think a second hand one is good, you’re keeping it out of the landfills for sure, and I like that it’s passed down through the family.

  2. Kathy s says:

    I can’t have a real Christmas tree as much as I would love one but I get asthma when I am near pine for any length of time -even the mulch we get around here sets me off and I have to be careful when I visit other houses with them. I have tried having a Eucalypt tree in a pot for an Ozzie detail but the dog ended up ring barking it and it died, so now I stick with the store bought tree(whatever it’s made of) and try to pretty it up as much as possible-it’s only a symbol of Christmas – the love shows in the way it’s decorated and the thoughts behind it.

  3. Renee says:

    We cut down a real tree every year from a local tree farm. While this may not be the most eco-friendly thing in the world, I feel good about it for a few reasons. First, it supports a local family owned business, which is great. Second, as long as the land is being used for a tree farm, it is not being developed in any other way (McMansion, anyone?). Also, it is really fun to wander around looking for the perfect tree. I would encourage anyone trying to be eco-friendly but still wanting a real tree to seek out a local tree farm rather than buying a tree that was cut down and trucked thousands of miles.

  4. Tree Farmer's Daughter says:

    As a member of a family that has farmed Christmas trees for many years, I would like to remind people that trees bought from tree farms or local tree yards are grown just like a crop. This means that as they cut down, they are replaced. Our farm has deer, foxes, quail, rabbits, partridge, owls and even the occasional cougar living on it. Depending on the grower, the trees require no irrigation, and little to no fertilizer/pesticides. Please support local farmers, and help the environment at the same time! A plastic tree, or one cut out of a forest, has more environmental impact that one grown by a responsible grower and has the added benefit of supporting local families.

    • Tree Farmer's Daughter says:

      Oops… meant to say that the ones grown locally support families.

    • Maria Dryden says:

      I couldn’t agree more. If one does decide to buy a live tree, there is no better place than a local tree farm. And it’s very true: buying from a place like this ensures that a tree is treated like a crop the same as any fruit or vegetable, it’s good to be informed as to where your dollars go.

  5. Victory says:

    We buy our tree at a local u-cut tree farm, and after the holiday, instead of throwing it on the curb for the trash, we cut up the trunk for the fireplace.

  6. Hanareddy says:

    Thanks for the article. Though, I don’t feel there is an environmental problem cutting down a Christmas tree. Perhaps this is a problem that varies by region. Here in Maryland, there are many Christmas tree farms. When we go to one of these each year to cut down our tree, I believe we are supporting a local business owner, as well as helping to keep land undeveloped. There is very little land that isn’t managed in my region and I believe a Christmas tree farm provides habitat for local wildlife and ensures that trees exist to help mitigate carbon from the surrounding area.

    While these crafty ideas are cool, particularly when they reuse found objects and other items in your house, they can’t possibly be reducing an environmental impact if they require transportation via large truck or airplane.

  7. Pingback: Five More Crafty Christmas Tree Alternatives – Crafting a Green World

  8. MadScientistK says:

    Our area also collects cut Christmas trees and uses them in the local lakes to make fish habitats or chips them into mulch.

  9. Pingback: How-to: Tree Stump Card Holder – Crafting a Green World

  10. Excellent! Great article, I already saved it to my

  11. Mark Rohlfs says:

    Christmas tree farmers in Oregon have begun environmental certification programs that require a detailed farm management plan and physically audit tree farm’s sustainable farming methods with regard to soil and water conservation, biodiversity, integrated pest management, worker safety and training, and consumer outreach. Check out for more information. 
    There is no large corporate ownership of Christmas tree farms in the US, even the biggest farms are family owned and operated. So buying a real farm grown Christmas tree does support green jobs here in the US. Read more about it at 

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