A “Green” Christmas spirit is upon us this year and it seems like everyone is wondering which kind of Christmas tree serves eco-friendly the best this year. According to a Deloitte 2010 holiday survey, nearly 20% of us are interested in “greening” our holiday this year – and 17% of consumers are prepared to spend a little more to create that “Green” Christmas, to boot.
One of the more searched concepts that I have seen this year is whether to purchase a real Christmas tree or an artificial tree. Which one is more “Green”? People are leaning in the wrong direction when they assume that the artificial Christmas tree poses less of a threat to the Earth.
The truth of the matter is, if you have to have a tree this year (because the greenest option is no tree) the real tree is far more eco-friendly than the fake one. Why? Most of the artificial trees are made of PVC. Beyond the fact that the creation of PVC emits nasty gases into the atmosphere, this plastic is definitely not recyclable, which means that the throw-away artificial trees end up in landfills – and that is something that eco-conscious people want to steer away from.
If you think about it, tree farms automatically incorporate sustainable practices. What do I mean by this? Well, they replace every tree that is chopped down each season, sometimes by planting even more trees for future seasons. While these trees grow, they are naturally converting the carbon dioxide into the very important oxygen that we all need to survive.
Organic Tree Farms
If you want to take your sustainable Christmas tree shopping one step further, find a local organic Christmas tree farm. They don’t use the harmful pesticides and chemicals that beat up the ozone layer that is already in jeopardy.
Local Tree Farms
Here’s another thought for you: if you buy from a local tree farmer, you use less gas to get to them and you will know that the trees weren’t shipped across the country in a huge truck – less CO2 emissions all the way around.
You will want to start thinking and planning ahead in order to locate the best place to purchase your “Green” Christmas tree this year. Waiting until the last minute might force you into purchasing whatever you can get your hands on. Don’t forget to figure out what you will do with your tree after the holiday is over, as well.
Here are some Earth-friendly ways to dispose of your real tree this year:
1) If you purchased the tree at an organic tree farm and you are sure that it wasn’t treated with harmful chemicals, think about dumping it into a small lake or pond. It can offer a wonderful new playland for fish and other aquatic animals in the small body of water. Make sure you don’t get into trouble doing this, though.
2) Most cities gather trees on a certain day after Christmas. Be sure to call your local township and ask them if and when they do this prior to the holidays. It may be hard to reach the right people right after the holidays. You could also turn your tree into mulch in your own backyard, store it and sprinkle it in your yard in the springtime.
3) You could replant it, however you will need to make sure that you choose the right tree and have enough roots to make this option work. In addition, you won’t be able to leave your tree up from Halloween to New Year’s, as it won’t be re-plantable.
Planning ahead is the key to hosting a Green Christmas this year. Map out where you will purchase your tree and where and how you will dispose of it prior to Christmas in order to achieve the most sustainable plans. You don’t have to go treeless to enjoy a Green Holiday Season…just make sure that you look into all of your options and choose the most sustainable option that is available in your area. Happy Holidays!
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