Get a real tree, save the planet
This is indeed counterintuitive, but evidently, tree harvesting can actually be good for us and our planet. There is method in this apparent madness that is being espoused by Forests Ontario, which is “the voice for our forests.”
While farmers see trees as being obstacles to efficient crop production, others view arboriculture as a viable industry.
Buying a natural Christmas tree is a win-win – it is an opportunity to bring the beauty and aroma of the great outdoors inside during the holiday and support Ontario tree farmers and the provincial economy.
“Artificial trees can be convenient, despite storage challenges,” concedes Forests Ontario. “However, the environmental impact and carbon footprint of producing, packaging, and transporting a plastic tree across the world are inconvenient truths. And ethical reasons aside, you just can’t beat the pine-fresh scent and beauty of a real tree!”
Choosing a real, locally-sourced tree supports the tree farms, which provide employment and income for families. More than 500 farmers produce upwards of one million Christmas trees each year in Ontario.
Christmas tree farms are also carbon sinks, soaking up carbon dioxide emitted by cars, planes, and homes and in turn producing life-giving oxygen.
One acre of planted Christmas trees can produce enough oxygen for 18 people daily. Real trees are 100 per cent biodegradable, meaning that when disposed of properly, they may be recycled into mulch for parks, habitat for fish and wildlife, or even materials for crafts. Real evergreens give back to the environment long after the holiday season.
“Ontario’s well-managed forests provide us with a host of social, economic, and environmental benefits. So, this holiday season, give back to our environment and choose a real tree,” says Forests Ontario.
It is somewhat refreshing to consider that Yuletide traditions continue to centre around the simple evergreen, a symbol of purity, when it is not smothered in decorations. Even a pathetic “Charlie Brown” twig has a certain charm. Trees are indeed the gifts that keep on giving, through shade, increased property value, potential property tax breaks, more diverse wildlife, protection from the wind, and eventually, firewood.
But, when it comes to Great Gift Ideas, this is one of those items you would rather receive than give.
Although they are lovely, full-sized evergreens are difficult to wrap, because the sharp needles cut through the paper and you need a kilometre of tape and paper to cover the unwieldy things. Plus, it is hard to tuck a huge tree under a Christmas tree and there is zero surprise factor.
However, if you are looking for a stocking stuffer for that person who has absolutely everything, consider giving a sapling, festooned with a compostable bow.
Or, if you are little handy with a shovel and are patient, you could plant and nurture your own trees.
For large-scale planting, trees can be ordered through the Raisin Region and South Nation conservation authorities.
Come spring, you will be chomping at the bit, eager to break ground and plant.
This will be your gift to Mother Earth, a gesture that is bound to create widespread, long-lasting warm and fuzzy sentiments.