June 28, 2016

Making your own Eco-friendly Christmas Tree

By Verena Barthel
Making your own Eco-friendly Christmas Tree

Our Elves most favourite time of the year -Christmas

And let's be honest, who can blame them!

I love Christmas too!

And it is not because I am a very religious person or love to overindulge in food and gifts but Christmas is the season that ignites my creativity and senses and inspires me to create magical corners and places throughout our little house.

And even more so, doing it together with my children!

 As much as they love seeing a fully decorated Christmas tree in our house, they also love getting busy to help me make our own environmentally friendly  decorations, including the Christmas tree and also decorating our tree!

 Growing up in Germany, the traditional way is a freshly cut Christmas tree, which will get thrown out after New Years and ends up in landfill.

Having my own family, helped me to create my own family tradition around this festive season as I always struggled with the idea of cutting a tree down for just a few weeks of pleasure.

I do prefer a green, more sustainable and Eco-friendly Christmas tree option, which also engages the whole family, keeps little hands busy in the often nerve racking time leading up to Christmas and the Christmas tree can be reused for many years to come.

Our first couple of family Christmases we were still spend in Germany and made a decision to go for a conifer tree in a pot that was growing bigger every year and were meant to be 'released' once it had outgrown it's Christmas tree size.

WE named it Oscar- the Christmas tree.

Once back in Australia, it proofed to be more difficult to  keep our OSCAR TRADITION alive, as it seemed to be impossible to find something similar that was a native tree.

And as you can imagine a plastic tree was certainly not even open for discussions.

Therefore I felt inspired to create our own Christmas tree.

 So I started to look around for some natural alternatives.

Something I always loved, ever since I became a florist, was old branches covered with moss, lichen & silver green algae.

Luckily, living in one of the most luscious and abundant areas in Australia,

I didn't have to search to hard for these branches.

So a matter of fact there was a dead tree lying right next to our fence in the neighbours cow paddock covered with a abundance of moss & green algae.

  • In the weeks leading up the Christmas my oldest son Enam and myself; armed with hand saws; went over the fence to cut as many branches down as possible.
  •  Back on our side of the fence, we started to cut & arrange the branches to right length and 'pre-build' our tree on our front lawn.
  • Next step, Enam (with daddys help) started to drill holes into the middle of every branch.
  •  A few days later, we went to the local hardware and bought some stainless steel wire and some hooks for the top and the bottom ends.
  •  As a foundation, we decided to use our beautiful vintage coffee table, drilled a hole in there and attached one hook. The other hook got attached to the rafters of our ceiling.
  •  After that, we started to tread all the cut branches onto the stainless steel wire and attached our new Christmas Tree to the table and ceiling!!!
  • And we had our own organic & eco-friendly Christmas tree:



Naturally my boys got really excited and went straight into decorating our beautiful new addition to the Christmas household.





Even though we haven't decided on a new name for our Australian Christmas tree but I can assure you, it is already a big hit with my family.

Wishing you all a wonderful & Eco-friendly Christmas.