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.