‘Tis (very nearly) the season, and for another year, you’ll be faced with an exquisite choice: to Christmas Tree or not to Christmas Tree?!
There’s nothing quite like decorating a tree and nothing draws a home together quite like it. And there’s nothing quite like the smell of a real tree; but it is going to drop its needles. That’s all part of the personality it brings to the season.
But are they sustainable?
Short answer: of course they’re not!
Farming of Christmas Trees takes hectares of land all over the world, dedicated to growing saplings to mere adolescence, before they’re cut down and shipped all over the world to be propped in living rooms for 3-4 weeks.
Few things are sadder than the piles of brown firs dumped on street corners after Christmas, waiting to be collected and disposed of.
So what should we do instead?
While “fake” trees might last for years, they’re still inevitably going to be thrown away, where it will take either significant energy to recycle them, or centuries to decompose.
Head to a local choose-and-cut Christmas Tree Farm?
If this is an option near where you live, then it’s as close to sustainable as a genuine tree can get. Buying from a local farmer can cut down transportation pollution, while supporting smaller producers and ensuring only what is needed is harvested. All good things, if you have a local Christmas Tree farmer.
Unfortunately, we’re not that lucky, so this got us thinking: what are the best alternative Christmas Tree ideas? How can we get the same unifying focus for our Christmas scheme, without turning to either plastics or pollution to bring a tree all the way to our home?
These are the best, most innovative, most exciting and beautiful alternatives we’ve found so far. Which will you use?
1. A Stairway to Christmas Heaven!
Simple and effective. This clever use of the fir-like outline of an antique ladder echoes a traditional tree, while using the steps to hold houseplants is a masterstroke of green thinking.
A liberal sprinkling of fairy lights and a few antique decorations is all that’s needed after that.
This is such a simple and effective solutions for a rustic theme. Brilliant!
Idea & image thanks to estiloydeco.com.
2. The Recyclable Wonder!
At a time of year when you’re likely to have more than a few cardboard boxes lying around, this DIY solution could serve to recycle them…before you recycle them!
If you don’t feel like creating one yourself, there are recycled, cardboard options available too.
But note the use of lightweight paper decorations in this arrangement too. Such a clever idea and so effective!
Idea & image thanks to etsy.com.
3. A Branching Option Christmas Tree
This solution is clever and witty: no wonder we’re smitten with this reinterpretation to the traditional tannenbaum.
Why kill a whole tree when you can make do with just a few cuttings? Such a smart idea if you feel you can’t celebrate Christmas without at least the smell of a Christmas Tree.
This option also saves on space, making it a really clever solution for those working with tighter spaces. The real genius of this design to us? The galvanised steel tub! Wide but angled out, so cleverly invoking the “perfect” Christmas Tree profile, while gently implying a sudden sense of depth. Genius!
4. The Driftwood Tree Christmas Tree
This option is perfect for any beach house.
Again, it’s light on its use of space without sacrificing any of the drama we’d hope to get from a Christmas Tree.
And not a single pine needle to be swept up.
Idea & image thanks to klastyling.com.
5. The Leaning Ladder Christmas Tree
At the risk of repeating ourselves, this second take on a Ladder Tree is too beautiful not to include.
This ladder may well be past its prime – the weathered wood is picturesque, but perhaps not as sturdy as it once was – but as an upcycling option this is ingenious.
The distribution of simple-yet-evocative decorations, the ribbon ties, the subtle use of fairy lights… this is maximalist minimalism at its very best.
6. The Christmas Branch
Outside, many of the trees in public spaces have turned their leaves from orange, to brown to gone, leaving local communities to Christmas-ify them with at least a string of fairy lights.
It can be a stark, beautiful effect in the home too, especially within a minimalist scheme. The muted, wintery tones in this example from diydekoideen.com compliment the space and the season.
7. The Steel Christmas Tree
This striking, modern “tree” gives limitless flexibility for variation and decoration from year-to-year without the hassle of buying trees or cleaning needles.
Why would anyone buy an artificial tree with bottle brush, plastic leaves when they could make whatever they wanted of this framework every year?
And it’s genuinely, 100% recyclable at the end of it’s long, long life.
Idea & image thanks to rabiavural01.wixsite.com.
8. The Not-Quite-So-DIY Christmas Tree
We don’t all have time to source our own driftwood, and you might not want an antique ladder in your living room for a number of weeks.
If that’s the case, check out this same-same-but-different framework tree. Its clean lines and slim profile are another great alternative for Christmas.
Imagine using this as a simple base for your own design. A stain, varnish or paint could lend this wonderfully implied tree any hue, tone or style to suit your space.
Idea & image thanks to whitejumpsuit.tk.
9. The 00s Sidetable Tree
The simplicity of this option is brilliant, especially for smaller spaces.
It certainly feels “of a time”, but everything cool will come back around, and really, is a simple tree that can fit on a shelf or table such a bad thing?
Don’t be a humbug just because you think you don’t have room! There’s always room for Christmas!
Idea & image thanks to culturacolectiva.com.
What are your favourite alternative Christmas Trees? Let us know in the comments below or you can always contact us here.