The Christmas Tree Conundrum

MPPH02989J0000[1] The first winter I was out of college, living in an apartment on my own, I did what I thought was the environmentally responsible thing, and ran out to buy an artificial Christmas tree.  I convinced my parents to do the same thing.  “How can we cut down all these trees?” was my main argument.  However, over the years since then, I have heard another side of the debate, which has many more facts attached to it than my gut-reaction to Christmas trees.  This morning, NPR had an interesting story about environmental issues attached to Christmas trees.  You can listen to the story here

The story points focuses on a Christmas tree farm that strives to be carbon neutral.  The farm plants a new tree for each that is cut down.  In addition to acting as a carbon sink, the Christmas tree farm helps create a healthy watershed.  The story also points to some of the unknowns of an artificial tree – what kind of labor was used to make the tree?  Are the materials in the tree safe?  Finally, though you can reuse an artificial tree, it cannot be recycled once its lifetime ends.

While buying a living Christmas tree and then planting it seems to be the most environmentally-friendly option, cutting your own tree has some hidden benefits as well.   Taking your children to a tree-farm to enjoy nature and pick out your own tree can grow an appreciation of God’s nature that a plastic tree cannot. 

Whatever option your family chooses, may this season of Advent and the following Christmas be bright and joyous for you and yours.

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