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Green Xmas: Winner and Tips

December 10, 2009

Well, behind schedule.  As usual.  But, I do have a winner, and few tidbits to share.

First, the winner.    I was going to have my kids choose a random number to help me decide who would get the book, but then I kept forgetting to ask them to help me out (typical me– I always think of these things when they are at school or asleep).  In the end, I decided that since this is my first giveaway that I would give the book to my first commenter.  I was especially pleased with this easy decision, and doubly delighted because I liked Alexandrea M’s comment.  I will hopefully be getting her copy of I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas out to her as soon as I can!

Thank you all for commenting, and I loved reading the ideas.  In fact, I loved them so much I’m going to share them (along with a few of my own) over the next few days.  Starting now.

Green Xmas Tip #1: Buy your tree thoughtfully.

I’ve been around and around again on the ecological impact of the xmas tree, but I think Alexandrea’s comment sums it up nicely:

“We had planned to get a reusable tree because it can be such a hassle to go pick ones up ever year, and it would last a lifetime, but after looking into the chemicals and non biodegrability of the products, we have decided to just purchase fresh trees from local smaller sellers.”

Christmas is not Christmas without a tree for me, and there was no getting around that, especially once I had children and wanted to share my traditions with them, but they do seem a little wasteful.  I was briefly intrigued by the idea of an artificial, but I have this thing about plastic vegetation.

If you are still debating artificial vs. real, I think real wins out. See www.christmastree.org for a rundown on this debate (yes, this is slanted as they want you to buy fresh trees, but still a good overview). Sierra Club also has a nice rundown on this, and I especially like their image of an “alternate” to both–a graphic tree on the wall.

My in-laws have a little fake one and I had this discussion with my mother-n-law one year.  She argued that her tree has been going since the 1980’s and still truckin’.  Of course, my argument is that my tree (besides smelling a whole lot better) will end up as compost in my city, and hers will (eventually) be part of a landfill wasteland.

If you are going real with the idea that it will be turned into compost as part of a city or other program, do make sure not to flock it.  I repeat, do not flock your tree.  And I would suggest not over tinseling it, as all ornaments and tinsel need to be removed to compost it.

The second consideration when buying an xmas tree is whether to buy it from a tree farm or not.  We opt to buy ours from a local tree farm  because we feel like we are supporting local agriculture and businesses.  It is slightly more expensive, but we make it a family event and take our time.  We enjoy the ride out (not far as we live about 15 minutes from an enclave of tree farms), take our time selecting, and always have a hay ride and a bag of popcorn before heading home.

And that is what xmas is about for us.  Family and tradition.  And food.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandy permalink
    December 12, 2009 3:49 am

    Hi Jess, Lovely post. We get a real tree every year but we go collect it for free as the species we use in Australia – radiata pine – is actually an introduced species used for softwood. We have had the tradition of a BBQ with friends, kids and guys go collecting (I have never been!). Love the smell of a real tree even if ours is invariably slightly bedraggled and prone to tilt. Nothing like the one in the movie Stepmom which leaps to mind as an example of the quintessential perfect American tree!

  2. December 12, 2009 2:34 pm

    I will take my real tree over a fake one any day. There is just something special about picking one out with the kids and that smell in our house. We make it a competition to see who finds the fullest one and this year it was our 8 year old, Boston. About soldering…have your cousin email me and I would love to share any tips and tricks with her. Also, could you email me your address so I can send a tiny something to you?

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