Sunday, December 27, 2009
Living christmas trees
The New York Times ran a story this Tuesday on a California-based service that rents out potted Christmas trees (their website is livingchristmas.com.) Customers can actually rent the same tree year after year and watch it grow. Other outfits donate their inventory, after the holiday season is over, to reforesting efforts.
The idea of a living Christmas tree is intriguing. Last year, the United States alone farmed, cut and sold 28.2 million spruces, pines and firs for the holidays and another 8.9 million artificial trees were imported (according to Nina Shen Rastogi in this month's Oprah magazine.) Considering an average conifer absorbs up to one ton of carbon over six decades, an opportuniy to help our environment may be lost.
This year, my husband and I decided on a potted spruce. We got a good price because we purchased it a few days before Christmas (generally, living trees should not be in a heated home any longer than a week.) We also identified a non-profit organization that will take the tree, care for it over the winter and plant it on the grounds of an affordable housing development when the warmer weather arrives. In the meantime we are enjoying our noble tannenbaum knowing it will live on into the new year.