Go green, kill a tree

A real Christmas tree is the better choice — even for environmentalists.

  29

by

From the December/January 2008 issue of the magazine.

  29

christmas_tree_322
When you survey the piles of dead trees lining the road a week after Christmas, it’s hard not to conclude that you should give Mother Nature a break and buy a reusable artificial tree. But before you go plastic, you should consider some surprising facts.

Despite what many people think, you’re not depleting the forest when you buy a real tree, says Allyson Brady, executive director of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. Almost all Christmas trees are grown on farms, like corn or pumpkins. For every tree that’s harvested, up to three more are planted. Since the tree farmer doesn’t want to go out of business, there is no danger that trees won’t be replaced.

It takes between seven and 10 years for a Christmas tree to reach living-room size. During that time, the tree absorbs carbon dioxide, releases oxygen, and provides a habitat for wildlife. Shipping the tree does consume fuel, but in Canada, a lot of trees are grown locally, which minimizes the impact.

When we’re done with our Christmas trees, most municipalities collect them and turn them into wood chips for parks and mulch for gardens. Real trees are natural, renewable resources that are easily absorbed back into the ecosystem.

Artificial trees are not. Most are manufactured in China and are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a polymer derived from oil. Brady says PVC is “one of the worst plastics for the environment.” To make matters worse, the manufacturing process produces carbon dioxide; so does shipping the tree here from overseas.

It’s true that if artificial trees are used for many years, their environmental impact is diluted—but they all get thrown out sooner or later, and they’re not biodegradable. “Trees that are made of PVC probably won’t break down for 200 years,” says Brady. “And once the PVC does break down and starts leaching into the soil, it creates some very toxic chemicals.”

So which tree should you choose if you want a green Christmas? “If you were really determined not to have an environmental impact, I suppose you wouldn’t have a tree at all,” says Brady. “You could just decorate a potted plant.”

But even Brady doesn’t go that far. She may be an environmentalist by day, but come Christmas Eve, she says you can’t beat the look and smell of a real tree in your living room. “I get them mainly because they’re nostalgic for me,” she says. “But I was glad when I did the research and found that it’s not that big a deal.”

29 comments on “Go green, kill a tree

  1. Some tips i have seen in terms of personal computer memory is that often there are requirements such as SDRAM, DDR etc, that must match the specs of the mother board. If the pc’s motherboard is very current and there are no main system issues, changing the storage space literally usually takes under one hour. It’s one of many easiest personal computer upgrade treatments one can picture. Thanks for sharing your ideas. .

    Reply

  2. even today, two thirds of all children not getting education are girls. gender equality is a long way to go

    Reply

  3. Appreciating the hard work you put into your website and in depth information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    Reply

  4. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

    Reply

  5. Hello this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply

  6. Greetings! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Thanks a lot!

    Reply

  7. I like what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and exposure! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.

    Reply

  8. Great site. Would it be alright if I linked to it in my blogroll?

    Reply

  9. I do like the way you have framed this issue and it does present me personally some fodder for consideration. Nevertheless, from what I have observed, I just wish when the actual reviews pack on that people today keep on point and don’t embark on a tirade involving the news of the day. All the same, thank you for this superb piece and whilst I can not concur with this in totality, I respect the point of view.

    Reply

  10. Hola! I’ve been following your web site for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!

    Reply

  11. Pingback: Check out my facebook profile

  12. Pingback: Sears Automotive Coupons

  13. Pingback: Another Blog Title

  14. Pingback: Janome 8077

  15. Pingback: Buy Kratom

  16. Pingback: Best Offers

  17. Pingback: Solar Panels For Your Home

  18. Pingback: Thermogenic Fat Burners

  19. Pingback: Colon Cleanse Recipe

  20. Pingback: Villas Ile Maurice

  21. Pingback: Location Ile Maurice

  22. Pingback: Mauritius Villas

  23. Pingback: Self Catering Mauritius

  24. Pingback: Location Villa Ile Maurice

  25. Pingback: Mauritius Accommodation

  26. Pingback: ISO Internal Audit Checklist

  27. Pingback: Villas Ile Maurice

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *