Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Great Debate - Real or Fake?

Lately everyone has an opinion on this. And there are definitely two sides. One says that a fake tree saves a real one, leaving it to live a full life taking carbon out of the atmosphere. The other says that fake trees are made with petrochemicals and will never biodegrade. Ever. So, what's the right answer.....? I think this is ultimately up to the individual (not to cop out), but each has its own argument). If you can't bear to kill a tree, but want a traditional christmas, opt for a really good quality fake one that's made in North America (if that's even possible). Make sure that its not stylized and looks very authentic. This way you won't tire of it, can keep it your entire life, and maybe even pass it down.
If real is the only way for you, please, please make sure that it comes from an organic, sustainable tree farm. Make sure they're not taking up valuable, fertile farming land and ask if they use pesticides. Buying a farmed tree means that the trees are always replanted after harvest, and seedlings will take Co2 out of the air for the 10-15 years it lives. Also, for maximum freshness trees are usually farmed somewhat locally, providing year round jobs in your area. If you must make a family trip to the bush for your tree, strap on your snowshoes and pick a tree that won't survive. Brush up your horticultural skills (aka google it!), so that you can spot a tree in trouble. Usually this means they're too close together and are fighting for light or food. Further, just like cutting a tree is a tradition for many families, keep that going into the spring and start a tree planting celebration to give back the tree you took. Finally, recycle your tree! Most townships provide curbside collection after the New Year, after which your tree is mulched and used for landscaping. Don't just pitch it in a ditch. Honestly. There's nothing sadder than a discarded tree.
The last option is to have a potted tree. This idea's been floating around a little, but its a little more idealistic than people think. First, you can only have it indoors for a few days (otherwise it thinks its spring and will die when it goes back out); second, its rather unwieldy - a 6 foot tree would have a 200 pound root ball, so you have to stay small; third, if you'd like to replant it, you have to live somewhere somewhat temperate for it to survive. Not so easy, but I love the idea.
If you feel like being a little untraditional, there are some cool ideas for tree-subs out there. I've collected a few ideas for you. I was thinking about a DIY tree of sorts. More on that later. Even while reading this, you've probably got your mind made up over what sort of tree to have, so lets get to the fun stuff and talk eco friendly ornaments. I've made a few of my own for you to see, but the photos below have a few ideas too.
{if going real is what you want, I really like this idea. it keeps everything natural. i've seen pinecones used before, but stringing them into a garland is a new idea, and very eco}

{if you'd like a potted tree, these 2 photos are a realistic size. popcorn and cookie cutters (below) is very family friendly and inexpensive. (photo from Pottery Barn)}

{photo from Country Living}

{these 3 photos are good examples of what you can do with pine branches. pick some nice ones and display in a pretty vase. you'd be surprised at how realistic it can look. keep water in the vase and it should last for several weeks. this is especially great in a small space, but either way it saves cutting a tree and save fumbling around with a potted one. search out some vintage baubles to get a look like the photo above (photo from Real Simple)}

{to acheive this look, use tidbits of leftover ribbon to drape on your branches. the nests were made using moss and foil covered chocolate eggs. you may need to use floral foam to anchor the branches in such a small base (photo from Country Living) }

{this is a neat idea - use coat hooks to attach the branch to the wall, and decorate away. You could also do something neat with this hanging over a table.}

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1 comment:

  1. i really like these ideas, and your simple branch "tree" in your store too!



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