Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Green Christmas

I know we are all concerned about the environment, so in the spirit of Christmas, I've enclosed the following article....

NOTHING says "Christmas" like the smell of pine in your living room on a winter morning! But is that smell really "green" or is it bad for the planet? Is it more environmentally responsible to buy a fake tree and use it year after year? What about keeping a live tree for Christmas? Let's look at the options one by one.

If you want a tree for the holiday, the experts at
Grist and TreeHugger say it's actually better to buy a cut real Christmas tree than an artificial tree. Why? In a word, plastics. Fake trees are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Producing this type of plastic creates a lot of pollution, and PVC is difficult to recycle. Plus, lead has been found in PVC. According to a report (PDF) in the Journal of Environmental Health, lead levels are higher in older artificial trees. You've probably heard about lead in children's toys, so just imagine the kiddos hanging around lead-tainted branches of your fake Christmas tree. Not a merry scene.

Farmed Christmas trees are ultimately a renewable resource. Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide, and after the holidays, the trees can be recycled into mulch. Check Earth 911 to see where to take your dead tree after the 25th.

What about a live tree? This is often promoted as the ultimate eco-friendly holiday option. Well, it's not that simple. First, you have to live in the right climate to plant a tree after Christmas. If the ground is
frozen outside, you can't do it. Then, you can only keep a live tree indoors for a few days, either 4 to 10, depending on the type of tree. You can't have this tree up after Thanksgiving and around till New Years, or you'll kill it. Some types of live trees can be kept outside in containers for a year or two. Others grow fast and must be planted in the ground sooner. Either way, this isn't a long-term solution to your Christmas decorations -- what do you do the following year? Pretty soon, the tree won't fit in the house. Also, you must carefully consider how much space you have in your yard to plant trees. Remember, these trees may grow up to 60-feet tall.

So, the most
practical solution for earth-friendly folks who celebrate Christmas is to look for a locally grown tree. Ask if the farm uses integrated pest management instead of tons of chemicals. If you can, find a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm. It's good family fun too.

By Trystan L. Bass

Any other suggestions or ideas? Let us know ho ho ho....


Zareba said...

Thanks so much for posting on my blog, If you had not, I would not have found yours. If I had to profess a particular philosophy it would be Buddhism, but since I don't have to, I tread my solitary path, waving and chatting to those I see near me.

May we link? I believe many who read my blog would enjoy yours as well.

...Z aka Solo Sonder

jon be me said...

I agree with you Z....follow the path less taken which shall be your path to power

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