The question just begs to be asked. Why does a professional organizer store so many decorations for a holiday that comes but once a year? To be honest, I love decorating for the holidays, as it transforms that gray outdoor palette into a rainbow of colors and sparkle. I do my utter best to carefully store my abundant decorations so that they last many years. The following are a few guidelines that I offer for those who are working to make more sustainable choices during the holiday season. Remember, reuse is always a key consideration before buying new.
Real trees help filter the air we breathe and, in most cases, new trees are planted after they are cut down for selling, making them a sustainable resource. Real trees that come with the root ball can be planted in your yard in the spring if taken care of properly. Real trees take more care when they are brought into your home, and must be watered so they do not dry out before you are done enjoying them. The average price of a real tree is $75 – $150. These trees can be downstream processed at many farms, tree lots, and local town greeneries. Essentially, one downstream option involves goats eating off the green parts, and then the rest is either burned as fuel or turned into mulch.
Artificial trees can range from $50 to $1,000 but, when taken care of, can last for ten to twenty years.
My first artificial tree lasted over 17 years before the branches just started giving way. The environmental problem with artificial trees is that they are usually made from non-recyclable plastic/metal, and are made overseas. Additionally, pre-lit trees break sooner and therefore move to landfill faster.