Greening the Tree

December 5, 2007

smallchristmasangel.jpgWe have a family tradition at Christmas time that entails hiking into National Forest Service land and cutting down our own special tree. Then, when the tree has dropped all it’s needles onto my living room carpet, we tie it to the roof of the car and drop it off for the city to grind up and make fertilizer in the spring.

Well, this year, in light of my born-again environmentalism, cutting down a tree just doesn’t seem appropriate. My husband lobbied hard for ‘the tradition’, claiming there were plenty of trees here in Colorado etc., but for me it felt hypocritical and just plain wrong.

I searched the internet for a recycled aluminum tree and had absolutely no luck. I cannot believe with the amount of tin cans that go to the recycling center every day, nobody has thought to make a christmas tree out of them.

On our weekly video call with my dad, he mentioned that he had a fake tree in a box sitting in the basement. With all the kids grown, he didn’t want to bother putting it up, and since he had already spent the money buying it and getting it from China, I considered this the most ‘green’ option for our family.

I’ve never been a fan of fake trees, and in my 20’s would have scoffed at the notion. But as my dad recently said in an email, the person who leaves the biggest footprint is no longer the winner.

A new tradition is born.

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