A long time ago, I had a little plastic Christmas tree and lots of cheap plastic ornaments. When I reduced the plastic in my house, eventually I gave them away. Since then I’ve used all sorts of trees and decorations. Here are seven plastic free tree options:
- Live plant in a pot – either small pine tree, or other evergreen. This year we bought an Albany Woolly Bush, which is native to our area and very soft to touch. It’s so cuddly! It’s not really cheap, but I was planning to include one in the future native garden bed anyway. Hopefully it will last a couple of years in a pot first.
2. Chop down a local weedy pine seedling from someone’s paddock. We did this a few years ago, and my son felt so strong felling and carrying an entire tree. Nice if you like the pine scent, and free. Compost it afterwards or chop it for winter firewood.
3. Branch of a real tree, potted up. I’ve used eucalyptus and pine tree branches in the past.
4. Pallet Christmas tree – our local Activ shop makes these to sell, and so does local business Back In Style. Or you can make your own from discarded pallets.
5. Cardboard – this can look elegant once it’s decorated with lights. Drape with fabric or use lights to add colour if you want to reduce the amount of paint going into your compost afterwards.
6. Welded recycled metal – if you really love welding. Very sturdy. My friends made this one.
7. Bare sticks – either natural or painted (white, gold or silver works well – see compost note above). From a bunch of sticks in a vase, to an entire dead tree secured and painted in the yard. Easy to decorate. Last year I stuck a dead branch into an old apple cider press, inside my tent. You can also use sticks to make a 2D tiered hanging tree.
We also painted gumnuts gold and silver as Christmas decorations last year. You can pile them in bowls, tie them into strings, attach them to presents.
I’ve lost my special Christmas box! It’s because I moved house this year. I’ve looked in every cupboard to no avail. So the kids have been finger-knitting woolen ropes instead of tinsel, and we made a dove out of paper. I like the finger-knitting. No pesky tiny pieces of plastic strewn around the lounge room. It’s a lovely soft Christmas tree!
Some random things have been ending up on the tree. I’m not sure what this decoration is supposed to be – the girl next door was a big discouraged with the whole finger-knitting idea, so she made this instead. Why not!
Some other ideas are writing on gumleaves to use as gift tags, wrapping gifts with fabric using furoshiki and making your own Christmas crackers with toilet rolls and recycled paper (these are loo roll wrappers). You can buy the ‘bang’ stick at craft stores. Ideas for fillers include: ridiculous jokes, quotes or fortunes; small seed packets; a metal or wooden peg; a reusable produce bag; op shop jewellery; spices; tea bags; or homemade lip balm tube.
Hopefully I find the Christmas decorations before Christmas – I still have a few weeks to go!