Real or artificial Christmas tree? Which one is more eco-friendly?
If you were wondering the answer is that real trees are better. (Unless, you already have an artificial tree. In which case, the best thing is to keep that tree and use it, because otherwise it just goes to landfill. Or, donate it.) Real Christmas trees are more planet friendly. The manufacture of the plastic tree, from oil, which creates most of its carbon footprint but also industrial emissions are produced when the tree is made. They are also often shipped long distances before arriving in the shop and then your home.
This year our tree was kindly gifted by Pines and Needles sustainably grown on one of their Scottish Christmas Tree farms. Pines and Needles is carbon positive for most of the year as their trees absorb carbon and emit oxygen. During the Christmas season Pines and Needles is carbon neutral as any emissions from transportation and delivery vehicles is offset by the trees still growing on the plantations. Not only that, but Christmas trees provide an excellent habitat for many bird species and other wild life.
Ours looks really very beautiful:
How to make salt dough ornaments
I also made home made salt dough ornaments this year (Hoping that the children will leave the Christmas tree alone unlike when I made German Ginger Cookie Ornaments.) Started off with coloured ones adding some biodegradable glitter too – but they were not very nice at all. So I thought it’s better to stick to the white or natural colours.
I’ve found that adding a little acrylic paint to the salt dough could help but actually it’s even better if I paint them after baking. So that’s what I did. By only using a little paint and a dabbing technique with any normal paint brush, I’ve reached a shabby chic whiteness and it somehow goes better with the natural beauty of the Christmas tree.
Here’s what you need for the salt dough ornaments:
2 parts of all purpose flour
1 part of salt
1 part of lukewarm water
Knead the dough for 20-30 seconds, then add the white acrylic paint. It’s up to you how much do you want to add, how white you need the ornaments to be.
Cut them out with cookie cutters (don’t forget to add a hole with he help of a skewer) and bake them on a low heat: 125-130 Celsius is enough, otherwise they can burn and get bumpy. They normally take around 20-30 minutes, and turn them over halfway through the baking. The goal is tho dry them in the oven, so keep checking on them. If you see any air bubbles, press them down with the back of a spoon. You can also use a needle to pierce a tiny hole to press the air out through that.
Let them cool down when they are out and you can paint them.