Evergreen or faux green?
That is the question this time of year: what is the “greenest” option for a Christmas tree? Should you purchase an artificial tree, cut a tree or get one you can plant? Here are some thoughts on the matter:
I’ve read lots on this topic over the years and the consensus seems to be this: purchasing a new artificial tree is not the best option. These trees are made with petroleum-based products and aren’t very eco-friendly like you would think because, after all, they are reusable. If you already have one, well, then, you are set-no worries.
Cutting a tree down at a local tree farm or purchasing a cut tree ranks second in the best options with the only caveat being that you are chopping a tree down. But here’s the thing-most farms continually plant and raise more trees, right? One resource suggested you make a tradition of planting a tree at Easter if you cut a tree at Christmas. That’s a neat idea and all, but it seems like if you are conscious enough to put your tree out for recycling for use as mulch or put it in the woods somewhere (with permission mind you) where birds and furry woodland creatures can use it for shelter, then you are being eco-friendly.
Purchasing a tree that has the root bulb and can be planted after the holiday seems to rank up there as the top eco-choice. I love that idea, although I would have to give the tree away to someone who could plant it as there is no place to put it in my yard. I do love the fragrant aroma of a fresh, live tree, but we haven’t had one in years since our new kitten scaled our last live tree in the middle of the night and knocked it over-several times.
After that fiasco, we purchased an artificial tree at Goodwill. That seemed like a good option since the tree was already made and needed a new home. I think we’ll try a live tree again next year and see how the cat, and the baby, does with it.
So, whatever your traditions and options are, just keep an eye to the “green” side and be sure to reduce, reuse and recycle this season. No sense in filling up landfills with our holiday trash if we can avoid it, right? That’s a gift to the planet.
Tuesday Trippier lives in Delaware, is a writer and mother of four, and has a special interest in green living and local food.