Oh, Christmas Tree!

Xmastree_5The tradition of bringing a tree inside and decorating it with candy, baubles and bells was started in the nineteenth century and is immortalized in the German carol (author unknown) Oh Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree). One English version includes these lyrics: “Not only green when summer’s here, but also when ’tis cold and drear”…

Xmastree_4Tis the season of Christmas trees on the curb! Advent began Dec 2, Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25 for most, Twelfth Night (Jan 6) and Eastern Orthodox Christmas celebrations (January 7) are over, and now the Christmas trees are on the curb.Weather permitting the trees will be picked up and chipped for ~ the next 2 weeks by the HP DPW staff. PLEASE NOTE that large branches put near the trees will also be chipped.

veg as garbageRegular vegetative/garden waste collection ended on October 31st and will resume on MONDAY APRIL 1st. Please do not place twigs and leaves and dead plants in the regular trash; keep them in a pile or garbage can or bag or leave them in your yard until April 1st (only 11 weeks away!).

Thinking about the environmental impact of Christmas trees led me to the website of the American Christmas Tree Association. The article Choosing an Artificial or Real Christmas Tree? — Either Way, Both are Green reports on a comprehensive (109 page) study published in Nov 2010 http://www.christmastreeassociation.org/Article%20Pages/choosing-an-artificial-or-real-christmas-tree Excerpted from this article:The first ISO-compliant third-party peer reviewed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) comparing the most common artificial Christmas tree sold in the United States to the most common real Christmas tree sold in the United States, found that the choice of either tree has a negligible impact on the environment. However, the study’s findings show that length of ownership, disposal method and “tree miles” can make a difference on which tree is environmentally preferable…..The study found that consumers need to consider an array of factors such as length of ownership, disposal method and tree miles before choosing which tree is more environmentally friendly. The ACTA encourages consumers to consider these five helpful tips when deciding which tree to buy this year:

1. Purchase locally grown Christmas trees if possible.
2. Consider “Tree miles.” How far did the tree travel to get to your home? How far did you travel to get it?
3. If you have purchased more than nine cut trees over the last nine years, consider purchasing an artificial tree to minimize your environmental impacts.
4. If you own an artificial tree, make sure and keep it in use for at least six to nine years.  If you plan to replace an artificial tree, donate it before you dispose of it.
5. Properly dispose of your natural cut Christmas tree by checking with your local waste authority. (** the Harrington Park DPW chip the Christmas trees and uses the chips as mulch in our parks)Xmastree_6

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