My dad would grab every blue spruce and my mom would find flaws with most of them. Dad would grumble and move on to the next tree, my toes would freeze, and Pappy would fall down in the snow. At the end of the day, we would all gather around a picnic table inside the barn and feast on hot dogs, pie, and hot chocolate before heading home to decorate the tree. More frustration (mostly my father's, courtesy of the lights) would ensue.
Our little blue spruce was also environmentally friendly. Consider the following reasons compiled by The Coalition of Environmentally Conscious Growers for buying a real tree this year rather than a fake one.
- Real Christmas trees are natural products of the U.S., contributing to the nation's economy.
- Real Christmas trees decompose rather than accumulate in landfills for hundreds of years or emitting toxic chemicals when burned, like artificial ones.
- Real Christmas trees take pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air to produce fresh, free oxygen for us to breathe.
- Real Christmas trees are harvested like any other farm crop, and for every tree that is cut, one to two are planted in its place.
- Real Christmas trees are the better choice for the economy and for the environment.
There is another reason why real trees are better than fake trees that has nothing to do with the environment; they create lasting memories. This Christmas my family will have one less member around the dinner table. More than anything I am thankful for the memories I have of Pappy. I will remember that Christmas used to start with picking out a blue spruce tree, drinking coco, and Pappy laughing and telling stories while the house filled with the smell of a real, live Christmas tree.
** The Coalition of Environmentally Conscious Growers is a non-profit organization whose mission is to heighten the public's awareness of live cut trees, as well as to certify that members' trees are grown in a "green" responsible way. The certification is audited by an independent party, which evaluates growers on erosion control/soil conservation, integrated pest management and tributary protection. For additional information visit please www.christmastreecoalition.org.