In the early 20th century, around 98 percent of Christmas trees came from the forest. Today, most Christmas trees are grown on tree farms, which can benefit and harm the environment.
Read below to learn how to enjoy an eco-friendly Christmas tree:
RECYCLE YOUR TREE!
To avoid discarding old Christmas trees in landfills, where they consume much needed space, consider composting or mulching your tree. An old Christmas tree…
* Can be ground up and used as mulch in gardens, on trails, or in animal stalls.
* Can be used as sand and erosion barriers on beaches, streambeds, and lakes.
* Can be sunk into private lakes and ponds, where it provides refuge for fish.
** For more information on recycling your tree, click here!
BUY A TREE WITH ROOTS AND PLANT!
Planting a new Christmas tree after is a great way to leave an eco-friendly legacy. After only a few years, you will have a living reminder of fun and enjoyment in Christmas Past. American Forests provides detailed information about tree planting.
* To potentially reduce air conditioning and heating bill, plant trees strategically near your house to provide cooling shade in the summer and an insulating wind break in the winter.
* Trees clean the air and provide pure oxygen in return.
Planting 30 trees can offset your home and car’s annual contribution to global warming.
* Tree root systems hold in place soil that, if washed away by heavy rains, flow into streams and rivers, making them shallower and causing flooding.
* The EPA claims that planting trees is the best way to reverse the global warming effect.
ECO-BENEFITS OF CHRISTMAS TREE FARMS
* While Christmas trees grow, they replenish the air with oxygen; just one acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen to support eighteen people.
* Tree farms provide habitat for birds and other wildlife (However, pesticide use on Christmas tree farms could be decreased for even greater environmental benefits.
* Due to their hardiness, Christmas trees are often planted where few other plants grow, thereby increasing soil stability.
* For each Christmas tree cut on tree farms, 2 or 3 new seedlings are planted.
CHRISTMAS TREES ARE NOT ECO-FRIENDLY WHEN:
* They are discarded with regular trash and end up landfilled or incinerated. Landfilling takes up space, and incineration pollutes the air.
* They are burned in your trash, causing air pollution and creosote buildup.
By Hilary Stamper, Care2 Staff