As the debate rages on, it’s no longer entirely clear how good or bad the Christmas tree industry is for the environment. One thing’s for sure, however, even if you’re not worried about the impact on the environment, there are plenty of alternative options that are cheaper, reusable, and often much cooler than the traditional Christmas tree and some amazing ornaments to go with them. Here we explore some of these highly unusual and somewhat geeky alternatives you can choose from this year.
The Murano Christmas tree
As the world’s biggest glass Christmas tree, the Maruno is not just a celebration of this time of the year but also of centuries-old Venetian craftsmanship. The tree was prepared by a group of glassblowers from the Benetian island of Murano (from which the tree gets its name). Officially unveiled on December 8th, the tree is 7.5 metres tall.
The Johnson Banks Paper Cutouts
In the true spirit of reduce, reuse, recycle, Johnson Banks’ Christmas cards this year are ram-punched out of old magazines and brochures found around the office, in the shape of Christmas trees, using the cutter shown above. The trees are perfect for decorating the house, use as ornaments on a tree, or for use as Christmas cards since they are recycled without looking tacky.
The idea behind this great design from Richard Babcock is simple and practical (just like the design). Why should you buy, transport, and dispose of a new Christmas tree every year when you can buy something unique, innovative, and practical, that can be opened, used, collapsed, and put away at your will?
Spinning Fiber Optic Tree
Fiber Optic Christmas trees have been around for a while now, and unfortunately most of them are so ugly and gawdy that no one with a respectable sense of style and decor would ever put them up. This design changes all that. The spinning fiber optic tree doesn’t just light up the room, it also draws attention because it spins. Be warned though, it’s probably a good idea to not hang ornaments from this tree.
Recycled Glass Water Bottles Tree
The pictures above do not do the tree justice. Made from 300 Canadian glass mineral water bottles, the tree took two days to assemble. Not only is the tree simple and beautiful but it gives you something to do with all those water bottles that you’ve been collecting (of course you can’t just throw them away!). The tree was first created as a window installation for a furniture store in Montreal called Domison, by the design firm Paprika.
Hammacher Schlemmer 7-Foot Upside-Down Tree
Built to evoke a sense of the age-old tradition of hanging a tree from the ceiling, the inverted tree isn’t just a cultural conversation piece, but because if it’s economical use of space, it also gives you a sense of grandeur that your cramped apartment wouldn’t otherwise be able to accomodate.
Bruno North’s Green Christmas Tree
(source: bruno north)
Bruno North’s green Christmas tree is definitely one of the best alternative trees you can can’t buy today. Sold out due to extremely popular demand, the tree is 80% more environment friendly than your traditional pine Christmas tree. Built with environment-aware ingredients it also minimizes waste and uses minimal energy for construction and packaging because of the use of CNC processes.
The Cardboard Christmas Tree
(source: the cardboard tree)
Cardboard art and sculptures are always fascinating. Whether it be something as complex as Mark Langan’s work or something as straightforward as these Christmas trees, these pieces are made from 100% recycled cardboard and offer modern and environment friendly solutions to art, design, and tradition.
Gareth Pugh Neon Bulb Christmas Tree
Designed and constructed by Gareth Pugh for the the flagship Topshop store in Oxford Circus, this tree uses 60 neon bulbs as branches and stands about three meters tall.
Estilo Tree Tealight Holder
Following the theme of simple yet practical and elegant while environment-friendly and reusable designs, the Blomus Estilo tree tealight holder is perfect for a romantic Christmas with your loved one. The stainless steel tree holds 13 candles but lit or unlit the tree exhudes elegant beauty.
The DIY LED Christmas Tree
If you’re in the mood for some construction this Christmas, you won’t find a better project than this LED Christmas tree. With a futuristic design and step-by-step instructions, this tree is guaranteed to draw stares and be the envy of your dinner party.