There are nearly 500,000 acres of Christmas trees in the U.S., with each acre providing the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people. When one tree is cut down, three seedlings are planted the following year to replace it making it the ultimate carbon offset. In 2008 alone, an estimated 40 to 45 million Christmas trees were planted in North America.
Being environmentally aware with your Christmas tree takes place at all stages; purchase, decoration and disposal.
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- Purchase a locally grown tree, preferably one that is not sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.
- Practice reuse, handmade or second-hand decorating for the tree. Making an ornament from a Christmas card, or picture, will mean a lot more then a store-bought creation.
- When it’s time to take down that tree, replant or recycle it to avoid the landfill and wasting the organic matter, which can be turned into soil enriching wood chips.
- Found a local organic tree farmer in your area? Get a group of your friends together and make a day trip out of it. This way you not only carpool, but encourage others to buy local as well.
- Throw a “decoration swap party.” Have every guest bring an old decoration and trade it. You can always find treasure in another person’s trash.
- When the holidays have come and gone, let your family and friends know that you are taking a trip to the tree recycling lot. Create a pick-up route and take a huge load with you to the event. You can even have everyone pitch in and rent a trailer.