With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you’ve probably already gotten a head start on your holiday decorating. But for the eco-conscious consumers out there, deciding whether to purchase a real or fake Christmas tree can be a difficult choice.
On one hand, artificial Christmas trees may seem like the better option because they can be reused year after year, but they will still eventually wind up in landfills where they can take hundreds of years to degrade. On the other hand, although real Christmas trees do not contain plastic, they still negatively impact the environment due to their carbon footprint (they release sequestered carbon when they are cut, and more over time) and the fact that they’re resource intensive. Plus, unless you actually compost them once the holiday season is over, they also still make their way to landfills where they generate excessive amounts of methane gas.
Worry not, eco-friendly dumplings. Keep reading for five DIY Christmas tree alternatives that are not only environmentally safe but *incredibly* inexpensive and easy to make! (Plus, the vast majority of them are cat-friendly, too!)
Get Creative With These 5 DIY Alternatives To Real *And* Fake Christmas Trees
1. Wood Pallet Christmas Tree
With a few pieces of reclaimed wooden pallets, a hammer, and nails—you can easily assemble an upcycled, rustic Christmas tree sans pesky fallen pine needles and harmful eco-footprint. Paint your wooden pallet tree any color of your choosing and string with decorative beads, tinsel, and ornaments for a statement-making piece that is sure to be the envy this holiday season.
2. Hanging Branch Christmas Tree
Get into the holiday spirit by crafting *the* ultimate eco-friendly Christmas tree by using branches from your own backyard! This rustic hanging branch tree is super simple to create—all you need are sticks or branches in varying lengths, some twine, Christmas ornaments, twinkling string lights, and a nail to hold it all in place! (Just make sure you keep a close eye on your lights to ensure they don’t overheat—or use LED lights!)
3. Book Christmas Tree
The perfect Christmas tree alternative for the book connoisseur—you can put your book collection to good use by showcasing your favorite authors and fictional novels in the form of this DIY book tree! Top off your festive literary masterpiece in fuzzy garland and tinsel! (Similarly, if you opt to use lights, keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t overheat!)
4. Ladder Christmas Tree
If you’ve got a wooden ladder handy, you can round out your Christmas decorating with this simplistic, non-traditional alternative to a live oak or faux tree! Decorate the ladder’s steps with scented candles, winter figurines, ornaments, and tinsel and place your presents underneath!
5. Photo Collage Christmas Tree
For a more personal touch your close friends and family are sure to enjoy, assemble a collage of your most treasured holiday-themed photographs directly to your wall to resemble a traditional Christmas tree! Finish off your photo collage tree with decorative washi tape or use ornate frames for a more festive holiday aesthetic.
Bonus: Live Christmas Tree
If you have a live Christmas tree in a pot, you can plant it in your backyard once the holiday season is over. Granted, you will need a house with a yard (and eventually the yard will fill up!), this is a wonderful alternative.
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