Every year, Americans go wild for Christmas. It starts right after Halloween, as the radio stations switch to carols and classics, and then turns into a shopping frenzy the day after Thanksgiving. According to the U.S. census
, it also includes cutting down about 17 million
live trees for living room displays. These trees often end up in the landfill, or, at best, mulched. From a sustainability perspective, this process is largely carbon-neutral, as the trees emit no more carbon dioxide as they rot than they absorbed while growing. But that fails to account for all the petrochemicals used to plant, fertilize, prune, cut, deliver, and dispose of said trees. Artificial trees
aren't much better; they are often made of PVC, stabilized with lead, and are neither biodegradable nor recyclable.
This year, make a more sustainable choice: a flat-pack, lightweight, wood tree made from scrap plywood. It can be made in any size, takes up no space to store, is cheap, reusable, non-toxic, with a sleek, modern aesthetic.
This whole project, from sketch to set-up in the living room, took me about three hours and cost me nothing (assuming you can scavenge some plywood). It requires no fasteners or specialized equipment. I made mine from OSB since it was what was lying around the shop, and the random flakes make for a nice bark-ish texture, but any sort of plywood will do.
Merry flat-pack Christmas! And, if you're in a giving kind of mood, throw a vote my way in the Instructables Design Contest . . . !
You will need these materials:
2 pieces of 3/4" plywood, OSB, or other sheet goods, approx. 16" x 24"
Tung oil or finish of your choice
You will need these tools:
Jig saw or handsaw for inside corners
Drill with 1/4" and 3/4" bits
Safety glasses, gloves, etc.