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.
At any odd hour on the weekend I can be found in my community garden plot, assisting neighbors with our common yard work or volunteering in a local park.
During the winter, projects often include installing small green roofs on top of sheds or sewing fabric wall planters. My husband and I also love to travel and seek out innovative green spaces and exhibits.
Professionally, I work as an administrator and landscape architect for a local municipality.