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 @