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Is a live Christmas tree the best option for your home and if so, how does one decorate it?

I always get a fresh-cut tree myself, though a live tree is even better as you can plant it after the holiday. For nontoxic ornaments, you can use regular glass ornaments, home baked gingerbread cookies, popcorn strings, wood ornaments, fabric ornaments, paper chains--anything natural. I would just stay away from plastic ornaments.

Personally, I just decorate my tree with white lights and put a metal gold star on the top. It's very simple, but always magical for me.

That's the short answer. But there are many details to consider about the health and environmental effects of a Christmas tree.

A good place to start is with my Christmas Trees excerpt from the new revised edition of Home Safe Home. It discusses the basic health issues and gives some suggestions on how to enjoy an "allergy-free" Christmas tree.

Then you need to decide what type of tree you want. Choosing a Tree outlines the environmental benefits and harm of the different options. Fresh Cut Trees and Living Trees have more details on these two choices. Make Your Own Recycled Tree tells how you can make a "tree" by recycling scrap evergreen boughs.

I've got lots of suggestions for nontoxic and earthwise Tree Ornaments and instructions for decorating my favorite holiday tree--a Tree of Life.

And finally, How To Recycle Your Holiday Tree and, if you're interested, The History of Holiday Trees celebrating the season with evergreens is a lot older than Christmas!

Debra :-)

This answer was provided by our friend, Debra Lynn Dadd. Hailed as "The Queen of Green" by the New York Times, Debra Lynn Dadd has been a pioneering consumer advocate since 1982, specializing in products and lifestyle choices that are safer for human health and the environment. She is the author of Home Safe Home.

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