Trashy trees make the trend

Posted 12/7/09

It’s estimated that Americans throw away a million extra tons of garbage during the period from Thanksgiving to the New Year compared to the rest …

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Trashy trees make the trend


It’s estimated that Americans throw away a million extra tons of garbage during the period from Thanksgiving to the New Year compared to the rest of the year, according to

If every family reused 2 feet of their holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.

If everyone replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LEDs, at least 2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved a month.

The savings would be enough to power 200,000 homes for a year, according to Littleton-based Holiday Creations, which makes and distributes a line of LED light strings.

With the holidays in full swing, area students are putting best practices into place by competing against each other for the best-looking, recycled tree in the second Trash to Trees competition.

Trash to Trees is a tree decorating competition that encourages students in grades 1-8 to be “artistic instead of statistic.”

The purpose is to help raise community awareness about the importance of recycling and making eco-friendly choices, in particular during the holiday season by using recycled goods for ornaments.

From Dec. 5-13 the trees will be on display at the Inverness Hotel, 200 Inverness Drive in Englewood.

The community is encouraged to stop by and vote for their favorite.

The top 10 schools will win cash prizes for their schools and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to plant saplings throughout Denver in spring 2010 as part of Mayor Hickenlooper’s goal to plant one million trees locally by 2025.

There’s nothing trashy about Littleton’s Christmas 4H Club tree. Adorned with a smorgasbord of seemingly useless trinkets, the fresh Pine is a picture of recycled perfection.

“I think it’s a neat approach to decorating,” said Arapahoe High School student Anna Groeling, citing that recycling was important.

An old sleeve from Groeling’s wardrobe makes the dress of the angel that rests on top of the tree.

Last year she incorporated corn chips into her decorations.

This year 12 of the 4-H Clubmembers gathered old spools of thread, tin baking cups, candies, and packaging foam to decorate their tree. A painted honey bear wrapped in holiday ribbon also made the list.

Katarina Wilcox, 14, took used light bulbs and painted them like penguins and Christmas Trees.

Other trees were decorated with old CDs, used light bulbs, chip bags, plastic bottles and soda cans.

Last year, Northridge Elementary in Highlands won for Best Tree Top Decoration. Acres Green won most Colorful Tree Display. The Most Recycled/Re-Purposed Items Used went to Pioneer Elementary in Parker, and Centennial’s ECE-8 won for Most Innovative use of Re-purposed Items Only.

Collectively, the event raised $5,860 through sponsors and individual tree bids. The top 10 schools earned $400 plus a field trip to one of four learning venues, including the Wildlife Experience, Museum of Nature & Science, Denver Zoo or Museum of Contemporary Art.

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