A family’s decision to rely on an artificial Christmas tree every year has helped cut back waste dramatically.

artificial-Christmas-tree-recyclingWith the holiday season now over, the year’s largest waste period is in full swing. Endless mounds of shredded wrapping paper, clumps of ribbon, tangles of discarded Christmas lights, dried-out Christmas trees, spent gift cards and appreciated but no-longer-needed greeting cards are all tossed in an effort to de-clutter our homes. The waste really adds up in late December and early January. So, what can we do to cut back? A tradition my family follows every Christmas is digging out the artificial evergreen from our basement closet. From the yearly struggle of discarding the tree, to cleaning up the pine needle mess, we decided to invest in a large tinsel tree. Although our investment was a bit pricier than our previous freshly bought trees, this is now one less detail we have to think about each holiday season. We don’t have to wrap lights around the tree more than once or place the star at the top year after year. It is ready to go when needed, and covered with cloth to protect from damage and dust when in storage. One issue we never thought we would run into: storage. Although we are saving money and creating less waste, the gigantic tree takes up a significant amount of space for us to enjoy only one month out of the year. Because we cannot simply recycle this tree or trash it in the dumpster, every time we run into a space crisis, the tree always stays. But, most importantly, we don’t have to think about throwing a tree away every January. Considering that every tree that heads for the trash is one of the largest items a family will dispose of, investing into a artificial tree that you can use for years and years can really save the environment a bit of grief. Sometimes I wish to relive the experience of choosing the perfect Christmas tree and the house smelling of fresh pine. However, by the start of every year, I value our artificial tree because this makes our lives just a little bit easier following the busy holiday season.