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Green-up the Holidays!

I started a discussion on social media: how do you celebrate winter holidays and minimize your impact on the environment? The number-one tip I got was that artificial trees are better than cut trees. Well—maybe?


According to several conservation websites, cut Christmas trees win the day in most cases. One would have to keep an artificial tree for 10-20 years to overcome the negative effects of the plastic and chemicals. Christmas tree farms, on the other hand, provide habitats and the carbon-sucking value of a tree, at least until it meets its untimely end. On a side note, apparently, many parks allow folks to cut down a tree on public land, although some require a permit, so it's best to check before pulling out a saw.


One friend suggested that buying live trees and planting them after the holiday is the way to go, which makes perfect sense. But you'd need a fair amount of space to accomplish it year after year. I have saplings that come up in my front yard on a regular basis, and it kills me to pull them out, but our small yard is already heavily wooded. So, I dig them up, cart them down to our local floodplain, and plant them in any random open space. I'm not sure what my success rate has been because I lose track of them over time. If that seems out of line, you could always gift the tree to a friend or neighbor who has more space.



And of course, Christmas isn't the only winter holiday. No matter what the holiday, often travel, gifts, and food play a role. We have a lot of choice when making our celebratory decisions. I'm sure you already know what I'm going to say: consider trains or buses over planes and single-occupancy vehicles; purchase gifts that are locally produced and sustainable, or services; and finally, eat less meat. If you cannot imagine adopting a vegan diet, you can always start small. Serve more plant-based options and consider a few meatless meals on occasion. I've found that with a little practice, we become accustomed to these changes, and after a while, it's no big deal.


One more thing, consider getting creative with wrapping paper. I unwrap gifts carefully and save the paper. So if your gifts from me look a little on the wrinkly side next year, consider how many trees we're saving.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and stay safe! I'm isolating with Covid as I write this, so consider testing before the big get-together and masking in between—don't end up like me!

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Guest
Dec 25, 2022

Our outside lights are powered by solar panels

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Guest
Nov 21, 2022

I’ve had my artificial tree for 20 years and it’s still going strong, so I guess I’m not doing too bad… together with the fact that I also haven’t bought any new decoarations or lights for that matter! I guess that’s not a bad track record. Have a safe holiday season. Cheers

Heather

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Guest
Nov 21, 2022

I read today that poultry is one of the more eco-friendly meats to have so a turkey is a green option if you eat meat.


If to get a live tree, it has to be trucked in from far away (like Maine to Florida) I would think that the fuel used by the truck would be considered in the eco-cost. Some places don't have local tree farms.

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Guest
Nov 20, 2022

I am going green with Christmas presents.

Buy them gift cards and mail it to them.

I cut out red meat and hamburger.

I am planting more flowering plants for the bees and insects. Now if they would just grow back every year.

I jokingly said that I want a,section of the garden to be dandelions. And some of those weeds come out with fantastic flowers. Just look at the medians in between the interstate lanes.....when it is not Jersey Barriers.

Saving wrapping paper is not a problem. I do not receive much in gifts.

Although I drive solo, it is not a fuel guzzling vehicle. I like my small cars, although if I did have the money, my 1996…

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Guest
Jan 04, 2023
Replying to

I don't give gift cards - I give cash. That's less restrictive for the recipient.


We always saved the wrapping paper carefully each Christmas. Then when we wrapped packages the next year we used the old paper. Except for the gifts that Santa brought - they were always wrapped in new, never before used paper.


Depending on the state, the flowers in the medians are specifically planted (or seeded) with local wild flowers. Some of the hardy flowers are invasive (like crown vetch which is used extensively in MD on banks). We planted some in our ditch.


Dandelions are edible.


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