The “Green” Christmas Tree Choice

December 5, 2012 — 4 Comments

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Over the weekend, we went to one of the large hardware stores to explore the idea of buying our very first real Christmas Tree. I was met with an overwhelming feeling of sadness and moved to the verge of tears by the sight of the number of trees that were cut off at the stump and piled up along the walls. What was even more upsetting to me was the line of families wrapped around the lot with their tree choice in tow who were seemingly unaffected by the surroundings. Thankfully, my husband agreed to leave with me immediately. For me, the fake tree we’ve used for years stirs the very same amount of Christmas spirit as having a real one (perhaps even more since the fake one satisfies my desire to live sustainably). But since marriage is built on compromise, I have agreed to explore the idea of sustainable real tree options. This is what I’ve found:

Of course, deforestation is no longer an issue because most trees are grown on farms but they must still be shipped, are often treated with pesticides and ultimately take up landfill space. Trees that are treated with pesticides will expose your home to chemicals that can linger and create potential hazards to the health of your family. Not to worry there are alternatives to finding a “Green” Christmas Tree, you can choose a tree that is locally and organically grown without pesticides through the Tree Locating Tool at the National Christmas Tree Association, http://www.realchristmastrees.org/dnn/AllAboutTrees/TreeLocator.aspx. Or better yet, buy a living tree that can be replanted in your yard or donated to a local charity!

Tree disposal is a biggie so have a plan in place for recycling your tree after the Holidays are done. There are many creative alternatives to sending your tree to the landfill such as converting it to mulch, disposing in your yard waste container if available, donating it to a goat farm where they will feast on the needles, sinking it in a private lake or pond for fish food, checking with your city for curb-side pick-up, or making a small donation to the Boy Scouts who will offer their pick-up services.

Make the environmentally responsible choice this Holiday Season to reduce your global footprint by choosing organic or living trees and finding a recycling option that works best for your local community.

4 responses to The “Green” Christmas Tree Choice

  1. 

    Reblogged this on It's a Green Thing and commented:
    Great post! Check it out and check out past posts at this terrific blog site!

  2. 

    There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. A good quality fake tree will last for donkey’s years. Up until 3 or so years ago I was using the tree my parents had bought when they first married. It’s still good to use and they married in 1975! I read a post the other day extolling the virtues of a fresh cut over artificial tree and one of their points was that young trees process carbon dioxide at a faster rate than older trees so that the cycling of young trees is not so bad. I don’t know the fact of that but it was a very interesting point. However, we bought a live tree last year which we repotted. My green thumbs are slowly changing from mouldy green to true green so it’s a minor miracle that we didn’t kill the tree. It’s growing green and looking lively again fortunately. I think we will plant it in the garden after this Christmas and we can then have Christmas outside with the help of solar powered LED lights. Thankfully living in Australia means we have Christmas in Summer (at least that’s the theory. There was snow on the hills 4 days ago)

    • 

      I love the idea of Christmas outside in the summer! (We’re in Southern California so I’m partial to the warmer weather). Also, valid point about the artificial trees. I’ve read that you do actually need to be aware of where they are produced because often times China adds harmful materials such as lead. The only other thing is end of life up-cycling to avoid the landfill, I haven’t really explored that notion yet but (off the top of my head) donation or recycling would be viable alternatives. Anyway, thanks for your comments! I look forward to checking out your blog posts as well!

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