Thursday, 22 December 2011

Is your Christmas Tree Green?

For several years I wrote ‘Green Christmas’ letters or press releases. It was a sure fire way to get newspaper coverage and then radio interviews. In fact, one year I did a pre-Christmas and a post- Christmas and New Year radio interview. Now everywhere is full of ‘Green Christmas’ pointers and the message has lost its distinctiveness. But one major Green dilemma remains – the Christmas tree. 

What do you get: a living Christmas tree, a natural but cut down Christmas tree or an artificial one?

A living Christmas tree to be planted out afterwards sounds very green at first. But think of the environmental impact of the monoculture plantations where they are grown. They are also the most expensive option. When my children were small I couldn’t afford a living tree – besides we were in rented accommodation and the landlord probably wouldn’t have appreciated a Christmas tree plantation in the back garden. That’s another disadvantage – who has acres of land to plant them all out every year?

Mostly we bought a chopped down natural tree. Local Councils are now very clued up about recycling natural Christmas trees – although you could use yours to make your own mulch instead. Then one year a friend gave us the artificial tree she was otherwise going to throw away. Now that is truly green. We could save a tree from being thrown away and save money by not having to buy one every year. Reuse is always better than recycling. 
What is your solution to the Christmas tree dilemma?

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