Zero Waste California

The Ultimate Christmas Tree Alternative List 2019!

The 2019 Christmas Alternative List:

Here are some fun and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional live or plastic Christmas trees. Be creative!

Also Check Out: 2018’s List

Let’s get right to it!

Simply Lights and Ornaments


It’s all the elements of the Christmas tree without the actual tree! Arrange your lights and ornaments in a cozy section of your home and light up the room with Christmassy flare.


The Notebook Tree

Hey girl, you’re so cute when you choose Christmas tree alternatives, like arranging some vintage letters on the wall to look like a Christmas tree. So cute.

The Upisde-Down Pot Tree

A cute idea for all you gardeners looking for something small this holiday season.



The Stick Tree

From u/ban5h3e:

“This year I decided to not buy an $80 Christmas tree but instead made my own from branches from my backyard. I miss the smell of a real tree but they only last for 2 weeks in a Perth summer anyway.”




Ladder Tree 2019 (1):

Ladder trees seem to a pretty popular option. I can see why. When they’re wrapped in twinkling lights and decorations, they’re quite dazzling!





Ladder Tree 2019 (2):

Absolutely stunning! You can find the instructions at: /



Ladder Tree (3): 


Wine Bottle Tree:

by Scott Monaco

Wine Bottle Tree (2):

Another wine bottle tree design by 18BelowDesign. They’ll customize them for you if you don’t feel like getting liver damage this season.




The Virgin-Wine Bottle Tree 

AKA the soda can tree – for teetotalers and carbonation-enthusiasts among us. By

The Clothespin Advent Calendar Tree:

This is one of my favorites for kids — make the holiday last all month!





The Junk Drawer Tree:



The Driftwood Tree:

If you happen to live near the ocean, maybe you can make on out of collected drift wood. Alternatively, you can shell out a bit of cash and buy it on Etsy.



A Different Style Driftwood Tree:




The Wooden Tree:

 by wood & wool stool.




The Wooden Tree (2):

Instructions at:

The Palette Tree: 

Got a bunch of palettes lying around? Here’s an interesting use for them by /





The Crafty Tree





The Periodic Tree of Elements:

So creative! And no, this doesn’t mean you need to find element coasters. Maybe you have a collection of bar coasters, or cards from a game you don’t play anymore. Cards for Humanity Tree anyone? A little hole punch in the card won’t ruin them. They’re still playable when Christmas is over. Why not regular playing cards?


The Photogra-Tree:

Have an old collection of photos gathering dust in a shoebox? Why not bring old memories to life by displaying them a photo tree!

Source: Pinterest




Photogra-Tree (2):


The 1/2 and 1/2:




The Wall Hanger

This classic tree alternative is simple but has a lot of potential be designed however you like! This design by I found to be particularly lovely!

A guide for measuring the hanging-tree:



The PVC Pipe Tree:

If you have some old PVC pipes you don’t want to throw into landfill, or maybe you save some from going into landfill or a junkyard, get a creative second use out of them by cutting them and arranging them into a Christmas tree. Then decorate the individual circles with ornaments to create this beautiful design out of yucky PVC.



The Art Deco Tree:

Arranging your ornaments in a tree-shape can create this gorgeous art deco tree design by


More Ornament Tree Inspiration:



The 3D Light Tree Effect

By arranging Christmas lights in this pattern in a room corner, you can make a 3-dimensional tree shape that will make your guests ooh and ahh like July 4th.

Another Creative way to use a corner:


The Rake Tree

Certainly creative!!


The Simple Ornament Tree

This simple but elegant tree is by, who also has a lovely design using sleigh bells as well.


The Music Tree

This is a simple and classy tree idea by for all you music lovers out there.

The Ruler Tree

Who’s tree is bigger? Here’s a rustic design that makes it simple to figure out. Source:


The Scrabble Tree:

How do you spell Christmas? A scrabble tree will let you know. Extra points if you can spell “Zero Waste.” Source:

The Simple Light Tree:

Simple but effective… and apparently entertaining!


The Hanging Ornament Tree:

Suspend ornaments to create a tree shape. Pro tip: don’t place this somewhere drafty or windy, or you might have some broken ornaments that thought they were wind chimes. Source:


The Book Tree 2019:

For all you readers out there! Here’s 2019’s Book Tree pick by

Book Tree (2):

Another inspiring book tree set up from



The 2018 Christmas Tree Alternative List:





The 12 Days of Wastefulness (12 Ways to reduce your waste during the Holidays)