It’s that special time of year where mad shoppers flood retail stores for the best deals and deck the house from top to bottom in holiday cheer. The envionmental impacts of the holiday season can be astronomical though. Over the course of the month I will post several tips and ideas on how to reduce your environmental impact and please share your ideas too. Where it’s a recipe, homemade gift idea or some other way you work to “green” up your Christmas or Hanukkah please share it with me and I’ll post it right here on the blog!
Meanwhile, this weekend we decided to start decking out the house for Christmas. We put all the fall decorations away and drug out the Christmas decorations and ushered in our seasonal tree. Most years we do our part to keep our local forests healthy by getting a tree permit and head out into the wilderness to find the perfect one. Since we’ve moved from Arizona, that tradition is going to have to go by the wayside for awhile so we choose to go with a farm raised Christmas tree. Some sources say a fake Christmas tree is a much more environmentally friendly way to go but I tend to disagree.
A fresh tree has provided oxygen for our atmosphere and habitat for animals over the several years it has grown. It’s providing income to a nearby farmer and it’s keeping our landfill from filling up with old fake trees that are simply tossed into the garbage when people are done with them. A fake tree won’t decompose and break down since it’s made with metal and oil based plastics. On top of that, there is a lot you can do with your real tree when you’re done with it. If you need some ideas, just read my blog post from last year on Tree-cycling.
If you happen to live in a climate where you can plant a tree during Winter, you could also consider a living Christmas tree. These were another popular option in the low deserts of Arizona and just about every home improvement center or hardware store carried them. After the holiday you take the living tree outside and plant it in your yard or donate it to a park or school for their use. The only drawback with living trees is that they can usually only survive indoors for a few days because they require a lot of light.
What kind of tree do you like and how do you make sure it’s a sustainable choice for you and your family?
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