Friday, 18 December 2015

Anything but Christmas Trees

Reuse-friendly Alternatives for a Different Kind of Christmas Tree

'Tis the season for retail marketing to challenge the concept of the traditional evergreen conifer tree. Why must they have all the fun?  Let's do our own mind exercise, and let's rethink and tinker.

In all its essence, the Christmas Tree is roughly triangular, conical, or pyramid shaped and it is meant to bring joy and cheer.  Simple!  This leaves so much opportunity to stretch our creative muscles and make our own beautiful, personal 'tree'.  Not everyone has the space or budget for a large tree, so this is also a nice reminder that there will always be a way to celebrate.

Before we run too wild, there are some key things to note. SAFETY FIRST!  Please make sure bulbs, lights and wires are not frayed and are rated for indoor use.  When designing your new festive tree, please consider fire hazards, weight distribution, load considerations, and the unpredictability/predictability of pets and kids.

You don't necessarily need to buy brand new supplies, but instead you can pull things from around the house to create a festive look and then return them back to their shelves after the holidays.  Consider giving some home staples a second purpose, rather than hiding your decorations away in a box for the rest of the year.  The Reuse Centre also has lots great supplies you could use.

Here are a few ideas I've come across:

Some of my favorite ideas this year are:

#5 Beer Tree
This is a practical decoration, and everyone will want to help you take this sucker down!
Image source:

#4 Hanging Mobile Tree
Leave this hanging past Christmas and nobody will notice that it isn't in season. Get the tutorial here.
Image source: Michael Haug via

#3 Merry Mirror
The best part about this tree is that you can make it out of whatever you want. After the holidays, you can just dismantle it and put everything back in its place!
Image source:
#2 Traffic Cone Tree
Pylon the holiday spirit!
Image source: daveharte on
#1 Chemis-tree
I love a good pun and this is possibly the best use of science equipment I've ever seen. Geek on.
Image source:
- Siao (Volunteer)

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