Scrooge, or Tree-Hugger? Options for a “Green” Christmas


Today’s local news broadcast covered the numerous area Christmas tree lightings, including the stories of where many of these trees came from. Local donor families were interviewed, and the countdowns to the actual lightings were shown.

One of the stories involved a gentleman who owns a tree firm, but was also described as a tree-hunter. He looks for and helps procure mature, photogenic trees for high visibility locations in the area. He estimated one tree to be approximately 65 years old, planted as a 5 year old sapling on the property of new homes built in the 50’s.


Is it that at 52, 65 does not seem so old to me now?   Perhaps the metaphor of a live and vibrant entity taken down, only to be shortly disposed of is just too strong of a visual.

YES>of course, some trees just need to come down. YES>I understand the economic implications of  all the tree-growing/harvesting industry, and YES evey year more and more municipalities pick up and recycle the spent trees. And oh yes, I am a Decorator, so I get all the sensory and traditional elements.

But did you know that the average live, intact tree supplies enough oxygen for 18 people? 

Can an enviornmentally sensitive adult  come to terms with their lights and glitter mesmerized-inner child? 

Yes!!  While plastic/otherwise artificial trees have some good points, but here are a few other other greener alternatives: 

Consider investing in, and decorating a typically indoor tree-like a ficus or hibiscus. Unconventional, but effective especially if you are of limited space/funds. Plus it’s a year-round boost to your indoor air quality, and your decor.

Loved this idea, too.

If you have the property-and an existing tree-consider decorating it with lights and treats for your ‘other neighbors’-strung cranberries and popcorn, and hanging suet baskets for the birds and squirrels. No semi-mandatory January 1st clean up, and if you have small children, it’s safer than glass ornaments and can be refreshed and still awe-inspiring, throughout winter.

Last, going to a local nursery and buying a live tree with root ball intact and wrapped in burlap, then re-planting come spring is always a good idea; there are many how-to guides out there, my favorite is almost 30 years old.  And if you don’t  have the property, consider making it a donation to your local parks dept or garden club.

This is the busiest week for Christmas tree procurement, please make it a green one if you can.