With Thanksgiving approaching this week everyone is talking Christmas! It’s only 36 days until Christmas and that means people will be putting up their Christmas trees this week. So what kind of tree do you use, real or fake? Growing up there wasn’t many times that we actually purchased a real tree. We had the same fake tree for many, many years. It’s no surprise that when I grew up and started my family we carried on the same tradition. For me, it really wasn’t a choice about the environment as it was for ease of care. However, I may reconsider after visiting the National Christmas Tree Association. I never realized how bad fake trees were. For starters 85% of fake trees are made in China and shipped to the U.S., think about all the fuel used to transport these trees to the stores across the country. Secondly, I had no idea that most fake trees contain lead. Lead is typically used to make the PVC plastic that the tree is made of. We have enough concerns over lead with our childrens toys, now it’s in our Christmas trees too. So how can cutting down a real tree be better than reusing an old one for several years? Did you know that everytime a tree farm cuts down a tree they replace it with three saplings? Did you know that most Christmas tree farms are in the U.S and Canada? Tree farms supports farming, which supports our own countries wealth.
So what do you do with those old fake Christmas trees when you can’t use them any longer? I know ours is pushing ten years old and some of the branches are starting to come off. When the time comes, we will probably donate it to a needy organazation since I’m not real sure if they can be recycled. At least they will continue to be reused for a while. But then it will probably end up in a landfill. And just think of all of those new trees that are pre-lighted. What happens when people throw those away, not only do they have the tree but now they also have the lights.
With real trees you can take them to your local recycler. Most hardware stores (like Home Depot) and most cities and counties have a tree recycling program after the holidays. Trees can be chipped and used for mulch, they can be used to help stop erosion, or decomposed to put nutrients back into the earth. Just remember not to throw them out with your household garbage and take them to be recycled.
Coming up later this week, I will talk about greening your holiday shopping. From different gifts you can buy to how you wrap your gifts.
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