Monday, December 19, 2011
Do you fake it?
(Christmas tree with aloe houseplant nearby)
This time of year, I always feel a little conflicted about Christmas trees, particularly our Christmas tree.
As a gardener and all-around plant nerd, I feel rather guilty about cutting down a living tree. And we don't just buy one that was already cut down and is being sold by the Boy Scouts or some other charitable organization. We actually go out and cut down a tree (albeit from a Christmas tree farm, not some unspoiled forest). Even though it's from a tree farm, I always think "this tree might have made it one more year, adding more oxygen into the atmosphere and providing a sheltered spot for birds to rest on its branches."
At the same time, as a gardener and all-around plant nerd, I love having a real Christmas tree. The smell of pine is intoxicating as it fills the house, and I get to lovingly water my temporary houseplant every day. A plastic tree just isn't the same, and a petroleum-based fake tree kind of epitomizes all that is wrong with the over-commercialization and insincerity of 21st-century Christmas.
As someone who cares about the environment, how can I cut down a perfectly lovely, living tree that was sequestering carbon and providing oxygen? Conversely, as someone who cares about the environment, how can I support buying and owning yet one more plastic thing that will eventually end up in a disgusting landfill?
So do you fake it with a Christmas tree, or do you get the real thing? Am I reading too much into Christmas tree options? Either way, it certainly looks nice...