Eco Home Living

Published on December 6th, 2011 | by Vivian Nelson Melle


Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Live Christmas Trees

The Christmas tree has become one of the staple holiday decorations for most homes but  sustainable Christmas trees aren’t always available. Sometimes severe asthma and allergy sensitivities can leave you shunning the evergreen as well. Fear not my festive friends, if you don’t want a real Christmas tree you don’t have to settle for a traditional artificial replica. The following are a list of wonderfully eco-friendly alternatives to live Christmas trees.

Plastic bottle Christmas tree

Plastic bottle Christmas tree

Life Size Christmas Trees

  1. The above tree spotted in Paris, France  by majunznk on Flickr is made out of green plastic bottles with a few red ones thrown in for festive flare.
  2. Apartment Therapy offers some great alternatives using items from around the house to construct life size Christmas Trees.
  3. Vtoxic found a wonderful reuse of soda cans which could easily be done at home by stringing cans to an embroidery hoop hung from the ceiling. The bottoms could be tied to bricks wrapped as presents and placed around to flare the bottom of your “tree”.
  4. Not Martha created a festive tree out of ornaments, talk about a two-for-one deal. This is a great option for homes with inquisitive babies and pets, just hang it out of their reach.
  5. Pink Chalk Studio made a gorgeous quilted advent calendar which makes a superb seasonal wall hanging. A large enough size could easily become the centerpiece in the room, especially with Christmas gifts strewn below.

Table Top Trees

  1. Yarn Trees from Troncas de Linhas are a great way to reuse scrap yarn and embroidery floss. You can use one color, as she did, or use up several for a colorful option.
  2. Better Homes and Gardens has a great idea for reusing last year’s holiday cards into little Christmas trees. Embellish to your heart’s delight with sewing notions, fabric and yarn scraps.
  3. The Long Thread used wool sweaters for her Christmas tree creations. You could use just about any material though, and further reuse the fabric after the holidays.
  4. My Home My Style made simple, yet elegant, trees from wire using a cone for initial shaping. Use various gages at varying heights to create a striking centerpiece.
  5. Crafting a Green World used sticks and an empty glass bottle to create a Christmas tree sure to please any nature-loving enthusiast.

Itty Bitties for Everywhere Else

  1. The Wool Acorn made little trees out of embellished pine cones. This is a fun activity for the entire family.
  2. Crate Paper Blog offered a cute option for reusing scrap paper into a colorful tree which could really be made into any size. I think an tiny one would be fun to make out of confetti from the paper punch. Just do one side using a matchstick as the base, throw a pin on the back and you have wearable Christmas gifts.
  3. Julie Ree made adorable garland out of little pyramid box Christmas trees. Her idea as an advent calendar is marvelous but each little tree could be hidden around the house for extra fun seek and find adventures.
  4. Scrapbooks, etc. made tiny trees out of thin strips of paper. You could also use curling ribbon scraps making use of those leftovers you hated to throw away. These could make nifty little gift toppers.
  5. All Sorts made a sweet little paper tree decorated with buttons. You can also reuse yarn and embroidery floss scraps by rolling them into little balls with a little dab of glue. Allow to dry and then glue on the tree. They add some nice dimension along with buttons and other notions.

What kind of Christmas tree do you enjoy in your home? Which of these fun projects to do you plan on trying out this year?

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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a writer and life coach helping individuals, families, and businesses thrive. She supports small businesses especially in the areas of Green Living, Health, and Wellness. She can be found at and

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