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Support Michigan Farmers: Get a Real Christmas Tree

December 8, 2009
Michigan's Tree
Image by william couch via Flickr

Environmentalists have long grappled with the conflicting issues of protecting trees and keeping Christmas traditions alive, but now it looks like the best thing to do for the environment this year is to cut down a real tree.    Potted trees are subjected to so much stress and climate changes between growers, then store environments shifting to home environments, and then the brutal boot to the outdoors that many potted trees don’t survive.  Fake trees are often made from non-renewable plastics which release volatile compounds, and plastic trees can’t even be recycled.  So what’s an environmentalist to do at Christmas?

Buy a farm product–buy a real Christmas tree.  Michigan reportedly “exports” up to 75% of the trees grown here to other states that can’t grow pine trees for Christmas.  (Michigan has a long history of providing timber and tree products.)  So, if you want to support the environment and Michigan farmers, get a real tree.  You are supporting a sustainable agricultural product and farming method.  Pine trees require little care, very sparse amounts of water and virtually no fertilizer.

So, to be environmentally friendly, buy a real tree, not a PVC tree made in Hong Kong or India–buy USA by buying a pine tree farmed here in Michigan.  Aww, go on.  We’ll all thank you and wish you a Merry Christmas too!

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