Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Ahh, the smell of pine really makes the Christmas season! This weekend we made our yearly trip out to our local tree farm to cut down a yuletide pine to decorate the living room. We know there is some controversy surrounding the environmental ethics of cutting live trees, so we wanted to point out a few facts. We won't even bother arguing live vs. artificial, because buying a tree from China, which is made of petroleum products, and which will one day sit in a landfill is not even an option. We could buy a tree with a root ball and plant it, but we already have lots of pine trees and need the pasture space for our sheep instead. Besides, did you know that for every Christmas tree cut, 3 are replanted? What other reasons do we have for cutting a live tree? Our tree was grown on a local family farm that has been in operation for 39 years, and which grows 25 acres of trees. That's 25 acres of farmland being preserved from development. Land that most likely would not be suitable for other crops is being protected from erosion and creating lots of oxygen. It also provides a habitat for small wildlife creatures, which is disturbed only minimally when the time comes to harvest. When the season ends and it's time to dispose of the tree, many municipalities will pick it up and chip it, and then it's used for public works projects or it's composted. So, we get to support the local economy, support open space and agriculture, and minimize pollution all at the same time! Plus, it doesn't get much better than hiking out in the snow with saw in hand to pick out just the right tree to bring home!

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