At the risk of sounding like a complete Grinch, I try to get out of getting a Christmas tree each year. This is not a debate I ever win, but I was able to convince Kim to try a live tree this time. By live I don’t mean that the tree was once live (instead of being plastic) but that the tree is live in a big pot in our living room right now (and will continue to stay alive after Christmas when we haul* it back outside and then bring it back inside again next December**).
I don’t think the Christmas tree industry is something to crusade against, but there are costs that go along with growing a bunch of tress, cutting them down, transporting them and then throwing them away after a few weeks. For instance, the use of pesticides damages the local environment as well as the people working on the tree farms. One benefit that can be cited is that the trees absorb carbon dioxide while they’re growing, but if you clear a forest to grow these trees you’re not gaining anything.
I also think the idea of having a live tree fits the spirit of the season better as well as fitting in better with the general idea of having a green home. If I can get a Christmas tree by going to my backyard and if can reuse that tree again for the next few years (we were warned that at some point the tree will get too big to move it) then that’s great.
* Haul is certainly the right word here. A live tree, with all of the dirt a live tree needs, is very heavy.
** Since we got the tree we’ve heard of a couple other people who have done this sort of thing as well, so it’s good to know I’m not totally alone on this.