Ethical Christmas trees are a great way to be more environmental this festive season. The British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association estimates that as many as six million trees will be dumped or burnt once Christmas is over. Only 1.2 million are likely to be recycled. (Source: Independent)
The best real trees are those you can “rent” from a company that uses sustainable forests and either replants or recycles their rented trees once Christmas is over. Companies like Lovely Branches (London), Forever Green (South Essex) , Cotswolds Fir (UK), Living Christmas Trees (California), Eco Christmas Trees (Melbourne) are among those offering this service.
For anyone living in an council district offering compost or chipping centres, this is also a great option.
If you hate the thought of all those pine needles and want to opt for an artificial tree you should remember that they are often made from non-recyclable materials and the length of use to make them carbon neutral has been quoted at 10-20 years. But don’t despair, there are ways to be more eco-friendly and avoid the post-season sweeping! Check out our pick of the alternatives below.
Rustic Wooden Christmas Tree – Percy & Eve (Etsy)
£35, ships to Europe
Handmade twig tree, standing at 65 cm high and 31 cm wide. This would look amazing surrounded by rustic decorations or as a stand alone item in a minimalist approach. The beauty of this tree is that it would fit nicely with other hand-made or wooden decorations, rather than standing out as mass-produced.
Reclaimed Wood Christmas Tree – Reclaim the Shed (Folksy)
£12, ships worldwide
This used to be a pallet! The creator sources his reclaimed wood locally and makes them into these beautiful trees, among other things (including some great reindeer ornaments & tree hangings). This is more of an ornament than a tree but would suit my fellow minimalist decorators or those who dislike traditional Christmas decor. The piece measures about 23cm high and 13cm wide.
Cardboard Colour In Tree – Nigel’s Eco Store
£7.99, ships to UK. Contact for other destinations
Wonderful tree made from recycled cardboard that lets you get totally creative. You can colour it, paint it, create a collage, add fabric….the only limit is your imagination! This would be a great tree for a house with kids (or big kids!) and if you stored it carefully what a wonderful family keepsake you could bring out each year. The tree comes with blank bauble and ornament shapes for added creativity.
£129 – £229, ships worldwide
Designed by carpenters, Timbatrees are made in the UK and come in three sizes. They can be personalised and you can buy a pot of chalk paint if you are feeling crafty. A clever system of holes & pegs allows all kinds of ornaments to be attached and a storage box is supplied so you can keep the tree safe to use for many years to come. If you’re not convinced check out their gallery of “best dressed” trees – the tress look amazing once they are set up in a home.
Recycled Cardboard Tree – Cardboard Christmas (Etsy)
£16 to £82, ships worldwide
From Estonia, this tree is made of 100% natural recycled cardboard painted green using natural, non-allergic paint. It comes in pieces and stores flat. They offer a range of sizes and styles in their store, including a small version at 30cm high, right up to a 1.32m full tree. They also offer some white variants, if you prefer to customise it yourself.
Liberty Fabric Trees – Bombus
£19 to £38 (£70 for all 3), ships worldwide
It was really difficult to pick our favourite from Bombus’ amazing range of awesome trees. There aren’t many places that one can buy a comic book tree after all! These ones are laser-cut from birch plywood and découpaged by hand with vintage Liberty fabric. The tree comes in 3 heights: 14cm, 21cm and 28cm.
Know any other great ethical Christmas tree options? Or have a source for a tree rental in your area? Share it with us in the comments section below.