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Last year, Americans spent almost a billion dollars on 27 million Christmas trees, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. It takes eight to 12 years for the average evergreen to grow into fluffy adulthood, at which point it's typically chopped down and trashed within a month or two. Most trees are grown on established farms that have been around for decades, meaning deforestation isn't a serious problem. But the pesticides used to raise them, and the fuel pollution that results from shipping them all over the U.S., have lasting consequences.
The fake ones have issues, too: Artificial trees are often made in sweatshops in China and rot for centuries in landfills. (Plus, their plastic leaves aren't fooling anybody). So where's the Yuletide greenery enthusiast to turn? Check out these creative and DIY alternatives to the traditional fir or plastic holiday centerpiece that rely on materials you've already got around the house.
Let's be real; you probably aren't ever going to read a single one of those old magazines you keep lying around the house. Recycle them into a DIY magazine Christmas tree.
Skip the hassle of heading to the malls and grab the ladder from your garage for that classic A-line shape. The best part? It's got a built-in step-stool to hang up lights.
Some trees were already killed in the making of your old books. This Christmas, repurpose them in memory of their makers.
via Real Simple
Gather a few months worth of soda or beer bottles, then assemble them into a towering tribute to recycling. If you've got 40,000 empty Sprite liters laying around, you can make a 40-foot tall plastic tree that rivals the one constructed in Lithuania.
If your crafts of choice involve pallets and power tools, grab a drill and a hammer and build your own wooden tree. You can hold a holiday bonfire with the wood later.