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Christmas Trees – a classic green dilemma

SmallTree.jpgWhen buying a Christmas tree this year, you may want to consider the environmental impact of your tree. It’s often difficult to balance tradition with green morality – and Christmas trees are definitely not the exception.

We could all buy artificial trees, such as those offered at Christmas Trees Galore, which can of course be reused over a lifetime. But these trees are usually imported from China and are made from PVC – an environmentally offensive, non-renewable plastic. So, let’s be realistic: for those of us used to the scent and adventure of a real tree indoors, an artificial tree may a little on the depressing side as well.

Fortunately, many tree farms are now doing their part to reduce the impact of tree farming. Farmers in Oregon (the number one Christmas tree producing state) that belong to the Coalition of Environmentally Conscious Growers, tag trees based on individual environmental impact, so as consumers we can be more aware of what we take home.

However, the current debate over “natural from Oregon or Fake from China” seems to offer few alternative suggestions. If you have a green thumb, you may want to try purchasing a small, potted live Christmas tree. This way, you could reuse the tree for several years. My favorite idea is to buy your tree with its roots intact in the first place and re-plant it after the holidays. Most of all, try to buy local and organic!
As with any other crop, it’s better to avoid shipping and support local growers. In San Diego, you can check out where locally grown potted trees are delivered directly to your home @ and if you choose not to keep the tree are picked up after the holiday and donated to areas damaged by the recent fires.

Related: a sustainable christmas tree Yule Tree Farm, 10.16.07, previously on AltCon.
National Christmas Tree Association
treecycling The Forest Society’s sustainable Christmas tree farm in Bethlehem, New Hampshire – get some fresh air, and cut your own. They offer both Fraser Firs and Balsam Firs.

If you’re lucky enough to live in San Francisco, check out how you can have a potted tree (sorry, NOT pine) delivered to you, then planted after the holidays, all for $90 @

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Digital Slide Show in a Frame

digital_frame.jpgSet down the scissors, turn off the printer, and go easy on the paper with this 10” wide-screen digital photo frame, complete with a remote control. Need more wall space to show off your memories?

This digital frame can store hundreds of JPEG and BMP pictures and display them in slide show mode.

What’s more, it can play videos as well as MP3s and WMP files with its built-in speakers. Supporting a wide range of file types, this frame includes SD, MMC, xD and CF card slots, a USB port, and a detachable stand.

Order from by December 15th and receive a free Shutterfly 12-month calendar. How’s that for a gift that keeps giving?

List Price: $189.99
Amazon discount: $134.99

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a mixed bag of green news


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Molly’s Holiday Wishlist


Give the gift of warmth (and save a scarf for yourself!) with these beautiful organic wool yarns (above, L) available in a rainbow of colors at Vermont Organic Fiber Co.

Stylish and environmentally friendly, magenta vest by Kelly B. designs (and modeled by my little sister, Sarah; above, C) Photo Credit: Tane Ross

Amana little black dress and Beyond Skin cocktail shoes (above, R) – great for holiday shindigs

Treat yourself right with a natural, organic bubble bath, enriched with Vitamin E and scented with vanilla and grapefruit at Bod for Bubs Bubble and Squeak Bubble Bath – yummy!

Say it loud and proud with an organic T-shirt from Colorado-based Organic Apparel.

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