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Green Christmas: Eco-Trees

written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 2/12/2012

People going green can still celebrate Christmas with a tree. Whether you buy a live tree or an Eco-alternative tree recycling options are close to limitless. So gear up for the holiday season and choose the right environmentally friendly tree that's right for you.

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    Instead of buying a live Christmas tree this year form your local store front only to throw it away in a few weeks, try making your Christmas tree choice more Eco-friendly. The alternatives that are offered today range from the simple country look to artsy designs; which one you choose depends on the overall Christmas theme look that you are going for in your home. Here we are going to take a look at the non-live and live Christmas Eco-tree alternatives that are available today.

    Are Fake Trees Really Better?

    A lot of people stopped using live trees years ago, only to switch in using the mass produced plastic trees. The majority of the mass produced plastic trees are made from a petroleum by-product and are not biodegradable. Also, if burnt by the use of improper Christmas lights they can release petroleum based toxins into your home effecting the overall health of your family, pets and live plants.

    Options for Live Trees

    You have two green options if you are going to use a live Christmas tree. You can buy a potted live tree and then replant it in your yard or donate it for replanting in a local area. In buying a live tree for replanting, you'll want to keep your tree with the roots intact in a pot large enough to accommodate it. Your local nursery can help you choose the right live Christmas tree and also instruct you on that particular trees care and replanting instructions. To find a local nursery, visit FindNurseries.com and click on your home state. You can also buy a cut tree and recycle it at the end of the holiday season. To find a local Christmas tree recycling program visit the National Christmas Tree Association's partnership with Earth911. You can also buy any type of potted tree for your home and decorate that, there are no rules stating that you have to have a fir to celebrate Christmas.

    Other Eco-Friendly Options

    If you do not want to go with a live Christmas tree this year, there are Eco-friendly options to setting up a fake tree as well. For instance there is the Green X-mas Tree by Australian designer Buro North. North's tree is created from flat packed recycled wood, is reusable and is claimed to be 80% more environmentally friendly than using a live tree. You could also build a paper Christmas tree by either drawing a large one on the wall or cutting up some paper to make the tree more three dimensional and then recycle the paper. See Build a Paper Xmas Tree for full instructions.

    You can even go so far as to create the following trees, by recycling objects yourself:

    The Mountain Dew Tree

    Fun Faux Fur Yarn Tree

    Soft Tree

    Baby Food Jar Tree