The Christmas Tree Dilemma

 Which is the better option?  Artificial or traditional fresh cut Christmas trees? 

What should you do with a tree after the season?

It truly depends on how your thought process works—the artificial tree can last many years and is recyclable; however, they are produced from petroleum based plastics, and some may even contain lead.  Not the most eco-conscious choice for some.  A traditional pine scent in your home may be what you look forward to every year.  But then, are you feeling guilty about tossing the tree out on your curb at the end of the season?  Is this destructive and wasteful in your mind? This year, then, look into recycling your tree into mulch.  This is great for flowerbeds and gardens.  If that’s too much work for you or you personally don’t need the mulch, contact your local recycling center to see if they have a seasonal Christmas tree recycling program. They may be able to use the trees for mulch at parks. If you happen to live near Hartwell Lake  in Georgia, you can drop off your unadorned Christmas tree so that “the recycled trees will be used as fish attractors in Hartwell Lake. The trees will be tied in bundles, weighted with concrete anchors, and submerged in various locations marked with fish attractor buoys. Small trees and brush provide cover for fish, particularly as nursery areas for juvenile fish. In addition, they provide habitat for aquatic insects—essential food during the early stages of most fish species.” For more information, contact the Hartwell Lake Operations Manager’s Office at   888-893-0678, ext. 335.

If you do opt for the real tree, before purchasing, make sure it is organic—you don’t want harmful chemicals in your home and then, in turn releasing toxins into your community.  On the Beyond Pesticides website, they provide great resources that will help you locate a pesticide-free Christmas tree:

The holiday tree planting program going on in San Fransisco should be the model for all cities.  An environmental group has paired with the city government to sell potted trees in several (non-pine) varieties at Christmas for $90. Once the holiday is over, the trees will be picked up and planted along city streets. You can check out how it works at

If you are reading all these fantastic ideas and wished this information was published earlier, don’t worry:  this can be your Earth Promise for next holiday season.

Check out Earth Promise for more ideas revolving around the holidays as well as the rest of the year.



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