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 tips check out Planet Ark’s Holiday Hacks for Living Large with a Small Footprint.
Debbie was Planet Ark's Tree Day Manager from 2012-2017 and had a major impact on the success and direction of Australia's largest nature care event.