There is nothing wrong with having a beautiful tree in your home for the Holidays to increase cheer and celebrate tradition. Biocraft wants to send some love and information on alternatives to have a Zero Waste Christmas!
Where a consumer spends their money directly impacts the environment. Every year in America around 30-50 million trees are cut down for Christmas. Almost half of Americans will choose to purchase a real or artificial tree this year, with a cost averaging between $50-100. As a result, we will continue to support an industry that accounts for almost $5 Billion Dollars. Biocraft wants you to know what kind of industry you support.
Is it a monoculture industry that uses toxic insecticides, herbicides and fungicides? Is it a non-local, commercial transportation based industry dependent on fossil fuels? Or an unsustainable waste recovery industry filling our already crowded landfills.
No two Christmas tree farms are alike. For instance, we know there are local do-gooders out there using organics, and caring for their land in a sustainable way. However, this industry is most often one that kills trees seasonally. The information below represents generalized account for most Christmas Tree production in the US.
Chemicals in our Homes
Christmas trees take between 7 to 11 years before harvest. During cultivation trees are fertilized, typically with inorganic fertilizers. As with many monoculture crops (the cultivation of a single crop in a given area), the trees are sprayed for pests using toxic insecticides. To manage unwanted weeds between tree rows, broad spectrum herbicides are sprayed during the growing season; for instance, Glyphosate (Round Up)- for 11 years!
If 30-50 Million trees will reside in the homes of Americans this Christmas, our money is largely being spent on the chemicals used to farm this crop. For 11 years these trees have had literal TONS of chemicals dumped on them and their surrounding soil. Do you want your toddler hanging on the edges of limbs that have saturated with poison?
The Christmas industry is a toxic one- these living plants are destined for the trash, just like most of the ornaments shipped from China. Furthermore, we can create a regenerative movement with our money instead.
Cut Tree Alternatives
Planting a living tree enhances our biome, creates memories, and adds to our legacy. There are many native trees that are host plants for beneficial insects, birds, honeybees, and other animals unique to our bioregion.
Selecting an indigenous tree, and making it a part of your family, brings nature home; unites loved ones, and helps the Planet. Here is a list of a few traditional looking trees that are native, beautiful and long lived. We recommend Colesville Nursery in Ashland to find a great local selection!
Environmental stewardship starts with a holistic lifestyle. Be unique this year and save a tree instead of chopping one down. An economy that represents Regeneration instead of Annihilation is one that will thrive.
Here are a few of our favorite trees from Virginia- if you are from out of state or region- please reach out! We would love to recommend a species in your Biome!
In conclusion, the monoculture Christmas tree industry is a toxic, harmful and an environmentally irresponsible way of using our precious land. Imagine the social and environmental good that our country could create with an extra $5 billion dollars. It is our privilege to be a voice for the Planet and stand up for what we know is right. This year save a tree for Christmas, and enjoy it’s shade and benefits for years to come- the gift that keeps on giving!