Seasonal Sustainability

There’s nothing like adding a little more stress to the holiday season, but if there’s a way to do it, I’ll find it.   So, it’s only fitting that I would suggest giving some additional thought before racing through a veritable tree drive-through and getting a cut tree.  I should have thought about it years ago, but honestly, it just never occurred to me that there was such a thing as a fake tree.  I grew up in Michigan where pine trees are plentiful and the only choice was to cut it from your yard or buy it from a tree farm.

Is it ok to buy a tree that’s grown on a tree farm for the purpose of decorating your home during the month of December?   In the early 1900s the debate was a hot one, but surely there’s new thinking by now.  Is it better to buy a fake tree that would very likely made out of plastic, contain PVC and be imported from China?  If it’s true that 1-3 seedlings are planted the following spring for every one Christmas tree harvested then cutting one seems ok, but maybe neither is a good choice from an environmental standpoint…

So, there’s another option – a potted tree.  Gosh, it seems obvious, doesn’t it?  Buy the thing in the pot and treat it like any other Christmas tree (ornaments, water, etc.), care for it over the winter as any other house plant and give it a permanent home in the backyard when you start to think about your daffodils.  If you’re really going for it, then find an organic tree farm.

Photo courtesy of TreeHugger.

I realize an article on planning for Christmas that comes out in mid-December is like the Food Network doing a segment about turkeys on Thanksgiving Day, but join me next year, won’t you?  This is my personal campaign to raise awareness for option #3, the potted tree!   I’ll begin the campaign in 2011 — along with a resolution to eat better and exercise.

Just kidding about that last one.

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