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Make it real this Christmas

We live in a country which is known for its diversity of people, cultures & the festivals. An Indian celebrates roughly 15-20 festivals across the year. But it wouldn’t be far when India would be known for its plastic waste generation & not its festivals. Currently, as a country we are generating 26,000 tons of plastic waste on an average consumption day, being the 15th largest global polluter. This number goes up drastically during festivals.

Here is a ray of hope for us. Our individual small actions can create a ripple effect & bring better change in the society. So, are you ready to make your small change in the upcoming Christmas festival? We can make some difference to our life & the life of earth by making an easy switch from fake Christmas trees to live trees or creative handmade trees.

Here are few options of live Christmas tree we can bring home this year-

Araucaria – This plant is most commonly known as the Christmas tree in India.

This plant can grow up to the size of a tree & most commonly found in Himalayan regions. It is easily available in the most online & offline nurseries in India. The medium sized one costs roughly Rs 250-500 depending on the location/website you buy from. This plant has strong stems to take on the weight of tree ornaments easily. It helps purify the air & is a great option to buy as indoor plant. Avoid placing your tree close to the air purifier or home heater as it can’t tolerate high temperatures.

Cypruss- It is most commonly known as ‘Mor pankhi’ in India. Cypruss is an outdoor plant which can grow up to the size of a tree. There are two varieties available most commonly in India- golden & green cypruss. A 2 to 3 feet long cypruss from a local nursery in around Rs 350-500. They are more bushy with thin branches, ideal for decorating with fairy lights & light weight ornaments. Here is a small video to see how it looks when it is decorated. We can also make these tree ornaments at home using cloth, flour, dried fruits etc. instead of using plastic ones.

Juniper- Another interesting plant that’s used as a Christmas tree is Juniper. It is an outdoor plant & looks similar to cypruss but it’s quite bushy. It doesn’t require a lot of care & is easy to maintain. This plant can be bought from a nursery or online for Rs 350 onwards. It also can be decorated with light weight handmade ornaments & lights.

Poinsettia- These are potted plants with reddish green leaves. Their vibrant red-green leaves make them ideal for being the Christmas tree. They are becoming popular in corporate gifting for Christmas. These are indoor plants, costing Rs300 onwards. They don’t need any decoration as they look beautiful otherwise. You can decorate them with golden string lights to add the look. In large setups, people use multiple poinsettia plants to form their Christmas tree.

Native options – Araucaria, Cypruss & Juniper have been traditionally used as Christmas trees in western countries. The idea of choosing these trees is that they grow tall, representing single direction moving upward towards light, perfection.

If you don’t want to buy these plants, there are few native options that you can trim to give the Christmas tree effect. Moreover, these plants can be later used as health supplements, self-care products & medicines. So, you are inviting nature’s good health & care to your home this Christmas.

  • Tulsi- Almost every house has a tulsi plant & we are aware of its medicinal properties. It is used

  • Amla- Consumption of Amla fruit is part of the winter care in many houses. Its dried powder is used in many medicines and hair care products.

  • Guava- Apart from guava fruit, it’s leaves can be chewed for tooth care. The leaves decoction is used as tooth ache relief mouthwash.

These plants are not just good for humans but support other life organisms on earth. So trim any of these varieties or other such native varieties in cone-like shape & decorate it as a Christmas tree. After the festival, in a few days, the plant will regrow back to its original form. Whichever plant you buy from the list, ask detailed care instructions for that specific plant from the buyer or read about it online.

Needless to say that our act of making a live Christmas tree as part of our celebrations would inspire our friends, neighbors & children to normalize the habit of bringing live Christmas trees home. And in a few years, we would see the transition to green live Christmas trees as the first preference in the Christmas celebrations.

*Myself earth is hosting Nature Connect winter camp to inculcate the habits of eco- friendly celebrations from early on. This Christmas celebration themed camp focuses on upcycled Christmas crafts, eco-friendly trees & décor along with games, carols & stories. Know more about it here.*

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