The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
December 11, 2010

Recycled Cardboard Christmas Tree

recycled cardboard Christmas treeLast week, I got an email from Cascades Boutique generously asking if they could send me a 100% FSC-certified recycled cardboard Christmas tree.  Of course they hoped I would review it on my blog. Well, I’m not really a Christmas tree kind of person. My feelings towards the holiday haven’t changed that much since my post last year about learning how to love Christmas and my other post about holiday buying. Still, I love the idea of a recycled cardboard Christmas tree, which makes irrelevant the eternal question of which tree is greener — a live tree or an artificial one made from plastic.

So I’ve asked Cascades to send a recycled Christmas tree to one of you. (12/14/2010 Update: Winner announced below.)

There are several style, sizes, and colors/patterns to choose from.  Classico (41″ tall), Moderno (52″ tall), or Piccolo (24″ tall).  Plain green, plain white (which is great for kids to color themselves), or brown with green and white decorations (as shown in the photo above.) The following video shows how a plain white tree can be transformed into a work of art. (The children all dressed like little white angels are a bit much for my taste. But what they do with the tree looks really cool. Great idea for the classroom?)

Video Link:

Enter the Give Away

12/14/2010 Update:  The winner of the Cascades recycled Christmas tree is Andria.  Congratulations!

Don’t Lose Your Head

Cascades is a company that makes all sorts of products besides recycled Christmas trees. On the green end of the spectrum, they produce recycled toilet paper and other recycled paper products. Greenpeace Canada has included Cascades in its 2010 Shopper’s Guide to Ancient Forest Friendly Tissue Products. But on the less eco-friendly end of Cascades’s product line are things like polystyrene foam food containers and trays. Ironic, isn’t it? I mention these other products because I think it’s important to both support the green efforts of big companies and also voice our concerns about products that are damaging to the environment. And because I want to stress to bloggers and consumers the importance of doing some research before accepting a company’s product pitch at face value.

All that said, I think the recycled Christmas trees rock. Hurry up and enter the contest before I change my mind and decide to keep the tree for myself.

53 Responses to “Recycled Cardboard Christmas Tree”

  1. GGirlGGreen says:

    Love this, Beth!!! :) :)

  2. Sarah S says:

    I would take the Piccolo in white. Thanks!

  3. Bryan says:

    Moderno in ‘Printed’ colors…

    This is a great blog, I just came across it a few months ago…

  4. Oh, this is such a nice concept. Thanks so much for a nice givaway. I would love the Classico in white. Decorating a tree from scratch, what fun for the children (and for me).

  5. Gayle says:

    I love the Moderno (52″ tall), in the already decorated. It would be so nice to ahve a tree and not have to worry about it in any way. It would even be easy to pack away for the future.

  6. Fiona says:

    I would choose the patterned Moderno. There is plenty of other stuff in the house decorated by our 2 children, so it would be rather nice to have something less…. glittery!

  7. Karla says:

    I would love to have the Moderno in green. All the trees are wonderful and the choice was difficult but now that I have selected…I …so…hope…I ….win! :)

  8. francine says:

    I like them all. The first one that caught my attention was the one that was decorated by children! Do you think that I could get them to decorate one for me? LOL! When I looked at all the choices, the moderno in brown and green attracted my attention. I’d like one of each, but if I had to choose only one, I’d choose (closing my eyes and thinking, eeny meeny miney moe….) the brown and green, no a white one, no, the brown and green…. OK, the brown and green..

    I will share this with my friends.

  9. Tiffany says:

    We have a tree downstairs but this would make a lovely “no impact” tree for upstairs. ;)

  10. Dmarie says:

    Glad to share this news on my blog. If I were to win, sign me up for the Moderno in white pls. As my folks have less energy to decorate, they would appreciate such a tree.

  11. laurie says:

    Mondo size moderno for me and my eco-family.

  12. Darris says:

    Nice that you’re giving this little tree away Beth. I hope it goes to someone who really enjoys it.

    Since my teenage son is spending Christmas with his dad this year I’m not putting up a tree . . . too sad for me . . . instead I’m stringing tiny lights around the windows of our living room and filling big, glass bowls full of my favorite ornaments.

    I have mixed emotions about Christmas . . . my son loves the holiday, the tree, the lights, setting up the train board (at his dad’s). I have fond memories of his childhood Christmases . . . I’d find him sitting on the sofa staring dreamily at the lighted Christmas tree . . . he would encourage me to come sit with him . . . sometimes we’d talk other times we would just cuddle and appreciate the magic . . . I’m happy we had those times together . . . .

  13. Trish says:

    The greenest Xmas tree I ever had was a live, potted arborvitae. No prickly needles either. You just couldn’t use lights on it.

  14. Hi, awesome idea! I retweeted and Facebooked your giveaway. Have a great holiday.

  15. Diane Neff says:

    If I win, send me your favorite one for I like all of them :-) Shared earlier on FB and Retweeted on twitter for ya, Merry Christmas Beth:-)

  16. Monica Ballard says:

    I am in love with this tree! What a fabulous product! A few years back my family put into place, NO wrapping paper and so we wrap the majority of our presents in empty food boxes or for larger items, recycle bags. At first my three daughters thought it was “weird” however now they put dibs on who gets their presents in what boxes. Apple Jacks is always at the top of the list because it has both red and green on the majority of the box. :-) I am posting this so others may decide to have their wrapping actually match their tree. :-) I think it would be great for the “give away” tree to go to a teacher where they can share it with more than just one family. Happy Holidays!

  17. Stephanie says:

    I love this! I’ll be sure to share the contest on my Twitter page (!/PlasticFreeGirl). I especially like the white Moderno. I’m a kindergarten teacher and this would be a really fun holiday craft to do together in the classroom.

    I’m curious if these have BPAs, though, since they’re made from recycled paper? Otherwise, awesome idea!

  18. Raelene says:

    I love the solid green “classico” and also the “moderno.” They’re not too busy looking and would be fun to decorate with my daughter’s artwork.

    I hate the whole fake vs real dilemma and I think this is such a terrific alternative!

    I will share on facebook and twitter.

  19. Christy says:

    I battle with the consumerism Christmas has come to signify also. We celebrated the winter solstice and this tree would be a wonderful addition. Moderno brown and green. Thanks Beth for all your hard work!!!

  20. Sandi Ratch says:


    I like the idea of the cardboard Christmas Tree and I will share on Facebook, but please don’t include me in the giveaway – we bought a fake plastic tree many years ago (thinking it was better than slaughtering trees for the holidays), so we will use it until my dying day.

    However, I wanted to share a story. I was in Northern Alberta this past week and went to the Java Domain restaurant for both breakfast and lunch. I was impressed, because in this little coffee shop/restaurant there were very few single-use plastics that I could see. They used china plates and metal flatware and had pressed cardboard takout containers. They did have single-use peanut butter and jam containers, but those were, literally, the only ones I saw.

    I tip my hat to a little restaurant in a very conservative province for making the effort and wish bigger places would do the same.

  21. Liz Vandewalle says:

    Very cool of you to do this!!! thank you.

    I think I’d be thrilled with any of them–in any size or color, (though I think the white is especially beautiful!!!)

    I also really like that in addition to informing us of the company’s green side, you called attention to the not-so-green areas of improvement for Cascades. That’s so well said, and I couldn’t agree more that it’s beyond important for all of us to be savvy/ discerning consumers and not just take the company’s claim to be earth-friendly at face value.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!! Take care.

  22. Reenie says:

    I guess I’m being the grinch here. As I see it the problem with using recycled paper is there is probably BPA in it, bisphenol A. We must clean up the recycled paper stream first, to feel safe and sure when using recycled paper products. In the meantime, many recycled paper products do contain BPA which is creates hormone activity in the body.

  23. Susan Beck says:

    I’d order the plain white and collage it. the smallest size.

    sharing on the eda facebook page, ashland cherryland garden network, gardeners of eden, 350 in the 510 and friends.

  24. Michelle says:

    Would love any to these. i have one child who is allergic to real trees and I hate the expense of the “pretty” fake ones…Would love to try this idea out!!!

  25. stacy lundquist says:

    I live in a trailer park…mostly because of the reduce-reuse-recycle motto I live by…and in the last 7 years I have noticed alot of children in the park are lacking some of the xmas spirit. I would like the Classico in white so I can put it out in front of my house for all of the children to decorate…a gift from the “groovy hippie lady” (their nickname for me). And truth be told….I hadnt felt so much in the christmas mood myself, and believe this tree would also go a long way to “reduceing” my scrooge like mood…lol! And to everybody, the Happiest of Holidays to you all!!

  26. Elizabeth Lundy says:

    What a great idea! I would love the Moderno and I will post on FB!!

    -Liz :)

  27. Josefine says:

    Those are very pretty! It’s a fantastic idea if you’re not typically traditional regarding Christmas. I had absolutely no idea those existed.

    Haven’t celebrated Christmas for years, however, so I’ll do without entering the competition.

  28. Erin says:

    I would looooove the Moderno in the mixed brown/green. I object to real trees and I gave my fake tree away a few years ago to a friend who desperately wanted to have a tree for his daughter when she came home from boot camp. I never bothered to replace it because I just haven’t had the money and I’m not crazy about the cheap plastic crap that goes into fake trees. This is an awesome solution!

  29. Maureen says:

    I think the Piccolo in the multi-colored print is great! I love that it’s simple to take apart and store for next year. I’m a small apartment dweller so things have to be easy to store in a tiny space. I don’t have a tree this year so this would be a lovely holiday addition!

  30. I want the printed moderno, but when I saw how many teachers wanted one I felt bad, I would have totally used it back when I was a teacher. I put it on my Facebook anyway.

    Did you know that they make aluminum (the most recycled metal on the planet) Christmas trees just like the 50’s in the USA still? They do! Mine was from the 60’s it was made in the USA then, and they still make them here now. I think it’s the greenest fake tree you can get, no China, and very little plastic. If I’m still using the same tree after 40 years, they must be pretty durable.

  31. Ann M says:

    I love the Moderno! It looks like one tree and a whole forest at the same time. I’m sure that my daughter would love to decorate it with some recycled bling. The concept is great and it looks like it has been beautifully executed.

  32. Linda B says:

    Absolutely fabulous concept. It looks like would store better than the plastic ones. I would like the 52″ brown and green one!

  33. Lynn says:

    Moderno white for me. Our grandkids would LOVE to decorate this one (and me too!) I’m a real fan of the fun part of Christmas that focuses on activities we can all enjoy together like say, coloring a tree :)

  34. Karen says:

    Love this ingenious idea! Thank you for sharing with all of us! I’ve posted this on Facebook and shared with the local Green Corps. I would love to have the Moderno in the green and brown colors. Happy Holidays!

  35. andria says:

    I love this for a classroom. I’m a sped teacher and would love to use this next year for the kids to decorate in their own unique ways. Or for my daughters preK classroom. Great fun and creativity and teach about recycling (save a tree and make a tree!)I shared this on facebook. Love it!

  36. Kayla says:

    I too haven’t picked up a real (soon to be dead) tree and will NEVER buy plastic tree. So I have my recycled paper garland hanging from my windows :) that said any tree any size would be perfect! And of course I’ll be linking this…

  37. Laina Lamb says:

    I shared and liked on facebook already! And I’d love the Moderno in White. My daughter is going to be an elementary teacher in a few years and I’d love to give it to her for her class after I’ve enjoyed it for a couple of years myself! Happy Holidays Everyone!

  38. Lily says:

    Oh, oh! Pick me, pick me! I like the plain green clasico.

  39. maureen soch says:

    well, i like them better than the artificial ones that is for sure, it would be a great project to decorate for kids…i like the brown one with ornaments ….i am not feeling very christmasy so far this year……i will post on my wall as only two days left to enter…thanks for all the ideas you share with us all…..

  40. Debbie Luttrell says:

    I would choose the plain white tree so that my family could personalize it as an altered art project. Not a fan of fake trees, but hate to see trees cut down every year just for a holiday, so this might actually get me to put up a tree again. Sharing this on Facebook-

  41. This is a terrific concept. It also brings up the idea that I could go and get some discard paperboard or cardboard and make one (or several). My hope is that this nifty tree is made on this continent and not shipped from China.
    Would love to have a simple “piccolo” size in the Moderno print (or solid green if the Moderno is not available).
    Thanks for having this last minute give-away.

  42. jin says:

    white moderno!

    It looks like the company makes quite a few interesting products out of cardboard, like kid’s furniture.

  43. Barbara Berkley says:

    I teach bilingual Kindergarten in a Title I school district. Our school is the largest in our district with 7 kindergartens and 1000+ students (K-8 – total)… any one of these trees would look wonderful in our office or classroom. I love the brown cardboard, but they are each beautiful. If I were to receive a white one, I’d ask our little ones to help color it… but the others can easily be decorated with their crafts… I’m reposting this to my Facebook page… Loverly!

  44. Darla says:

    I love the Classico in white. It is simple and beautiful!

  45. Martha says:

    I would love the all white Classico for the kids to decorate. Usually we buy a potted Christmas tree, then donate it to a local reforestation project after the holidays, but this year we will be traveling almost right up to Christmas Day, so this would be perfect. I will also pass this on to my daughter in law who is a kindergarten teacher, and a friend who is a Sunday School teacher. It would make a great class project!

  46. Susan L. Harling says:

    I’d love any tree that you have that you want to give away. I’m not picky. We haven’t put up any sort of tree, fake or real, for the past 4 years because our cats kept climbing up and knocking the ornaments off of the tree and onto the floor and, “crunch”, as I’d walk through the door after work. And, I also hope that this tree is made right here on our continent and not shipped. I’m going to also share on Facebook!

  47. What a great idea for those who don’t want to cut down a tree and don’t want a fake tree in their house! I personally like the white tree because I think it would be great for kids to decorate. (I shared the link on twitter and facebook.)

  48. CB says:

    Do you know where they are made?

    I would get the Moderno in white because:

    1. It comes with “decorations”
    2. White is classic and will last through many decorating styles

  49. Beckey says:

    Ohhh… I love this idea!! I would like the 52″ brown and green one! And I love your site.. Im off to spread the word! :P

  50. Mary says:

    I would love the Moderno in White of course…decorating would be such fun !!
    We usually do a live tree from a local tree farmer in our area of course these are much more easy to find here in the Pacific Northwest than in many other parts of the country.
    I shared your post up on my Facebook wall.
    Crosses fingers for the win : )


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