Tis the season for holiday decorating, stocking stuffing and kissing under the mistletoe. Oh yes this IS my absolute fave time of year. And the great tree debate has been on my mind lately you know. So as I was waiting in line to pay for my groceries at Whole Foods last week, I passed the time by reading an article in Martha Stewart's Whole Living magazine on this very debate.
Author of the article, Mindy Pennybacker of Do One Green Thing talked about this very issue - to cut down a tree or to buy an artificial one? But before I get to that answer, my tree-history is this: Growing up as a kid and for years in my early adulthood I had a plastic tree. Until several years ago I decided to buy a real Christmas tree and then last year I actually cut down a tree with my very own hands. I must admit, it was a wonderful experience, but I felt slightly guilty taking something down that was growing so beautifully. The combo of the wonderful fresh scent of pine and the pretty lights were certainly very joyous though.
So after reading this snippit in Martha's mag and doing some research, I feel better about my decision. A study by Ellipsos, a Montreal firm that specializes in sustainability metrics, considered the following: greenhouse gases emitted in production, transportation, and disposal of each option (including the tree stand and water). And even though fake trees are used for about six years, they are often plastic and shipped from China - ummm, hello looooong carbon footprint. Then where do they end up after six years? In a landfill site my friends. So it's not surprising that my verdict is this:
Find an organic farm and recycle your real tree post-holiday.
And get this fact I found from Tiny Green Bubble: approximately 350,000 acres of land are used as Christmas tree plantations in the U.S. alone. That land is not only dedicated green land, it also provides a haven for birds, offering them protection from predators and weather and the ability to feed on insects in the trees.
Feel better about ch0pping down that tree now don't cha? I know I do.