Choosing an eco-friendly Christmas tree
Author: Debbie Agnew
For a lot of us, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree, so should you fake it or go fresh?
The greenest option is to make your own arrangements with branches or grab a potted Australian native pine like a Wollemi or Cypress that can be used year after year.
However, even if your intention was to buy and reuse a fake plastic tree, it’s always better to buy a plant over non-biodegradable plastic. A plant is a renewable resource, 100-percent biodegradable and easily recycled. Plastic Christmas trees in general are made of non-recyclable, non-degradable plastics and metals which won't decompose, meaning they will all eventually end up in landfill. Most plastic trees are used for six to 10 years and then are tossed. Naturally, you'll need a yearly replacement for a real tree. Disposing of a real tree is simple if you have a mulcher at home, otherwise, some councils organise curb-side pick up of Christmas trees in the new year. Some cut tree suppliers will also take back used trees for mulching.
Another living tree idea which is fairly low maintenance is a Rosemary tree. A healthy potted rosemary plant will survive for years and requires very little care. Not only do they smell great but you can pluck a few sprigs right off it and throw it into your oven as you prepare your yummy holiday dinner. Win-win.
For more great Christmas ideas check out the 12 Do's of Christmas...
Debbie is Planet Ark's Tree Day Manager. She has 20 years of experience running community engagement campaigns, having worked for the United Nations Environment Programme, the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and Clean Up Australia Day. Deb gets excited about social innovation and her greatest strength is inspiring the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of individuals who take part in in National Tree Day activities every year.
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