Last year, the city of Kaunas, in Lithuania, decided it would be in the Christmas spirit to kill two turtledoves with one stone. Instead of cutting down a tree to decorate, the city enlisted artist Jolanta Šmidtienė to dream up a holiday decoration where no plants had to die. And, at the same time, it reduced waste by finding a new use for nearly 40,000 discarded plastic bottles. Because Šmidtienė’s beautiful tree is made of bottles, linked together with zip ties and illuminated from within.


Actually, that one stone picked off three French hens, because it also solved the problem of Kaunas’ dodgy economy. The tree left Kaunas’ funds earmarked for Christmas decorations essentially untouched, since the whole tree came out of the trash. (By contrast, New York City’s Rockefeller Center tree costs tens of thousands of dollars.)