On the first day of Christmas
my true love gave to me …a fully re-useable tree.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree how lovely are your branches! Mismatched carols aside, there are going to be lots of Christmas trees decorated in West London this year, with its 600,000 households. There will also be a lot of trees that will not be wanted in January. You can make your Christmas tree even greener this year by choosing one that you don’t need to get rid of after Christmas.
A real tree in a pot
A totally re-useable tree that also smells like Christmas. If you buy a tree in a pot you should be able to take the tree in to your garden after Christmas and next year take it back into the house.
Make this work for you:
- When you buy your tree, check the root ball is tightly packed in soil and the roots aren’t sticking out in all directions. If they are the tree is unlikely to grow very well.
- Your tree is not going to survive one Christmas if you don’t water it! Your home will be lovely and warm, so the tree will need water to help it survive. Put the pot into another container such as a bucket without holes in the bottom and then water the tree. If the tray or other container has holes then your floor will get wet. You can make the bucket look Christmassy by wrapping it with foil or wrapping paper or tinsel. If your tree starts dropping needles, you have not watered it enough.
- Try to avoid putting your tree next to radiators or other direct sources of heat as they will help dry it out.
- A live tree should only spend 10 days in your home. When you put it outside after Christmas put it in a sheltered location to help it get used to the cold again.
- Your tree will grow each year. You may need to re-plant it in a bigger pot this year, to avoid having to do that next year or the year after. When you choose the pot, make sure that you can lift it when it’s full of compost, otherwise your tree will stay in your garden and you’ll have to get another Christmas tree next year.
- Will it fit in your garden? If your garden is small you may not want to keep a tree for the next few years.
An artificial tree to use year after year
It may be made of plastic but you can use it again and again with it dropping needles in your home that you’ll keep finding for another year! There are a wide variety of artificial trees available. Green ones, silver ones, fibre optics ones, tall ones, short ones and pre-decorated ones. There’s one for every home and family type, so choose one that you’ll want to look at year after year.
Make this work for you:
- These trees will last longer if you pack them up carefully and store them somewhere dry. Keep the original box, the plastic bags wrapping each section of the tree and any instructions about dismantling tall trees. After you’ve packed it all up after Christmas, put the box in a loft space, large cupboard or under the bed. Try to avoid damp spaces, but if that’s not possible don’t put the cardboard box on the floor and make sure it’s wrapped in plastic to keep it dry.
- Choose a tree that you love. If you’re not sure now, then next year it’s not going to grow on you. A simple green tree can be decorated in any colours with anything you want.
Even greener tree decorations
Whatever tree you have, you can decorate it with decorations that re-use items you might have recycled or thrown away yourself at home, or with items made from items other people didn’t want.
Our favourites are:
Shapes made from old CD’s and DVD’s (These are examples of what you can buy, check out other retailers too)
For more information about Christmas trees look at our reuse guide