Friday, December 14, 2012

An organic and a recycled Xmas: sustainable Christmas trees

You probably know about how millions of trees are cut and end up in the landfills every Christmas year after serving as decorations for a couple of weeks. An easy way to avoid such waste is to opt for other type of trees that will serve the same function without harming the environment.

This week, I came across two examples I loved.

This one on the right is made out of used paper. It came into being thanks to the magic hands of my very talented friend Minati, who we have previously encountered in this blog doing beautiful objects with paper. A lot of used paper, a stapler, and voilà: a perfectly fine Christmas tree.

The instructions, according to tree-maker Minati are: "about 50 pages (more is better). I wanted a big tree, so I glued newspapers together into a book first, let it set, and then folded. If you want to get the kids involved, let them do the folding first, and then glue! Otherwise just give them magazines and let them make their own little trees!"

If you need more detailed instructions than that (I know I do!), you can check them here.

In a way you don't get more tree-like than that: a tree that became paper that became a tree. *Like* circles.

Photos of tree (c) Minati Baro

The other example I run into takes all the prizes in my book for creativity and sustainability: a Fungal Christmas Tree!

It was created on a petri dish out of fungi. Definitely, the first time I see something like it. The geeky-quotient makes it appropriate for The Big Bang Theory show, but I don't think one can get more sustainable than that.

Curious about how it was done? Here's the only info I have:

Top: Talaromyces stipitatus

Tree: Aspergillus nidulans
Ornaments: Penicillium marneffei
Trunk: Aspergillus terreus.

The instructions for that one? You'll have to ask a biologist about that. 

If anyone has the information on who came up with it, or anything to add about how it's done, please share.

If you would like a less work-intensive option, check here.

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