Natural or artificial; cut or live: these are the questions when it comes to picking a tree during the holiday season. There’s nothing like the smell of a live or cut tree in your home during the yuletide, but is what is the best option environmentally?
Wondering where to take your tree for chipping? Click here for a detailed list of options in the region.
How do I go green?
Artificial trees can be reused and no tree loses its life for these, but they cannot be recycled in the end. Cut natural trees can be locally and organically grown, reducing greenhouse gasses and pesticide use, but they do require 7 to 10 years of farm resources. If you want to fell a natural tree, use a hand saw instead of a chainsaw to save on carbon emissions.
Living (potted) trees can live for years reducing the harvesting of new trees each year. Once they are too large for the pot, planting in the yard can be a lovely family tradition. Make sure you select a tree that is native to this area and suited to your yard.
Avoid decorations made from fossil fuels such as tinsel.
-Consider making decorations from the ones you already have to hang on next year’s tree.
-Chop up your tree and put it in the compost bin or take it to one of the local Chritsmas tree chipping events
-Look for artificial trees, tree stands and decorations in second hand shops or thrift stores.
-Plant live trees in your yard.
The facilities listed below will accept natural Christmas trees as an organic material for composting year round. An even better option are the Christmas tree chipping events that a number of not for profit organizations hold Christmas every year. Trees are accepted and chipped by donation as a fundraiser. Click here for the tree chipping events for the 2012/2013 holiday season. Don’t forget that you can recycle your money too! Buying from your local tree farm puts money back in to your local economy. Donate unwanted artificial trees, in good condition, to second hand or thrift shops.
Alpine Disposal & Recycling
1045 Dunford Avenue
604 Canteen Road
DL's Recycling Centre
6844 Oldfield Road
Enter at 524 David Street
H.L. Disposal & Lawn Services Ltd.
334 Hillside Avenue
Hartland Recycling Facility
# 1 Hartland Avenue
Hartland Yard and Garden Waste Area
#1 Hartland Avenue
981 Maughan Road
Peninsula Landscape Supplies Ltd.
2078 Henry Ave West
307 David Street
The Environmental Story
Let’s have a look at some of the environmental considerations you might have when choosing a tree:
Pros: Wonderful smell, traditional character. Renewable resource.
Cons: Pesticides and fungicides used if not organically grow. Often cut down using a chain saw (burns fossil fuels), transported on a truck (again, burns fossil fuels), lit up outside in the grocery store parking lot (use of electricity). May have to be transported to be chipped or composted.
Pros: Wonderful smell, traditional character, no waste, provide oxygen, renewable resource.
Cons: Pesticides and fungicides used if not organically grown, require access to a yard and green thumb
Pros: No mess, lasts for years.
Cons: Made of plastic which is produced from fossil fuel, a non-renewable resource. Mostly produced overseas, so they have a huge carbon foot print. Usually come in a lot of packaging: cardboard box, Styrofoam and/or plastic wrapping inside. Although a fake tree may last longer than a real one, it cannot be recycled at the end of its life span and will end up in a landfill.
Overall, the eco-friendly choice is a natural, living tree that will be replanted.
Did You Know?
You don't need a tree to celebrate the Christmas season.
You can have a wreath made from found branches and other goodies or buy an organic wreath, organic holiday flowers, or other organic greenery to brighten up the house.
Questions? Call the CRD Hotline.
We can answer your questions on the Hartland landfill, composting, household hazardous waste, recycling and more!
toll-free: 1.800.663.4425 #3030
Don't abandon your better judgement.
A little junk in the trunk is a good thing. Want to learn about our campaign and what you can do to help?