Traditional conifers are so passé: the greenest Christmas tree is an indigenous potted one that survives the season.
Which is less damaging to the environment: a real harvested Christmas tree or an artificial one? Neither is great, so why not rather start a new festive tradition this year by decorating a live potted tree (indigenous preferably) that doesn’t end up on the trash heap afterwards.
Good choices include yellowwoods and the wild olive. Ask your local nursery for more advice on local options that won't mind a short period indoors as a suitable stand-in for a northern conifer.
Keeping with the green theme, don't buy new decorations. Save the special ones to re-use year after year, and for some variety make your own new ones - both are great Christmas-time rituals for kids especially.
- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, December 2012