Michelle Rosenthal

social worker, Dr Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

This conversation is closed.

Save millions of trees per year by celebrating Xmas W/O a tree or by renting living Christmas Trees with their roots intact: NOT CUT TREES.

Millions of beautiful Christmas trees are adorned each year to celebrate a loving holiday however it is really an unfortunate event for the trees. An idea worth spreading is to celebrate the holiday W/O a tree or with a Living Christmas. Ask everyone especially pastors and clergy to spread the message advising people not to buy trees especially not cut trees but rather if they must to buy or rent live trees with their roots intact. Encourage people to order live trees from Christmas tree dealers before the holiday so the stores may be prepared to sell potted Christmas trees. Many tree distributors may not have realized the demand for living Christmas Trees. Advocate for them to take orders in advanced and have many selections available to meet the demand for trees during the holiday season. The trees can either remain potted, be planted in the persons yard either permanently or temporarily for the holiday and returned to the dealer to be replanted back where it came from or in a safe environment where it can grow and grow until next year when it can be re-rented to you or another person again. Trees play an important part in climate control. We should not just cut down millions and millions of trees each year without realizing the negative impact that this process will have on the environment. By saving trees we are really saving ourselves as well. Lets do the right thing and transform the Christmas Tree Industry to save the environment, the climate and ecosystems around the world! We can even push for a law banning the cutting of trees for Christmas and requiring the sale of potted trees that may be kept or returned to be replanted after the holiday. One tree can live and really become part of your family growing up together. The trees, animals, birds, bees and I will thank you. We can plan to help the planet by these and other simple measures that are easy to implement. We can also plan to capture rain water in a barrel to water our tree and plants.

  • Nov 15 2011: Broad leaf trees are the ones that really filter our oxygen not nettle trees.
    Most trees sold for the holidays are grown on tree farms that most animals avoid, due to amount of humans present.
    Holiday trees are a very tiny part of the tree industry-lumber is a major part.
    While I agree that having a false tree is better then having a cut or live one, these tress are not Redwoods etc. They do not add or subtract from the deforestation issue.
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      Nov 15 2011: Hi Gale, Thanks for responding to my conversation. I think that regardless if the Christmas Trees add or subtract to the deforestation issue they have a sort of "right" inherent in just being alive on their own not to be just cut down at will to become an object of our attention during the Christmas Holiday then discarded after the holiday. We forget that a tree is a living thing though it can not speak. I just think if we are more attentive to other lifeforms we may easily save them ie by using a tree with its roots intact and then replanting them after the holiday. The tree will live and be available to share festivities of Christmas the next year. It just takes a little extra effort to return the trees after the holiday to the person who sold it and for them to send the tree back where it came from to be replanted. Some Xmas Tree selling companies offer that service but many do not. I hope more and more companies will offer that service in the future and that more and more people buying trees demand this service of the people who sell them their xmas tress. Another option for many people who have space in a back or front yard is to keep the tree planted on their property throughout the year so they will always have their tree available to them.

      I realize there are many issues involved in the whole deforrestation issue and we humans really need to look at our behaviors overall and try to reduce our consumption of things we really do not need. We often throw perfectly good things away rather than giving them away just to buy a better replacement. We need to recycle much more. We have to be better stewards of this earth overall in every way.

      Michelle Rosenthal
      • Dec 1 2011: I agree with your sentiment on recycling in general, but disagree with your re-use of living trees as an alternative.

        Have you considered the additional cost, both financial and environmental, of shipping a tree to your home and then back some where again.
        Overall, a 'tree' that came off the top of a large tree cut down for lumber - grown in a plantation specifically for that purpose, would have a much lower enviromental impact.

        As for the moral part of the argument, I suppose I don't value the inherent 'life' of the tree in quite the same way. I think providing enjoyment/atmosphere is just as important as comfort (e.g. wood burning fire) or sustainance. Even so your plan of using a living tree, completely disregards the stress on your trees living system involved in uprooting, transporting and transplating it twice a year. How many trees are lost in this process?

        A much better option would be to keep your own potted mini tree or plant one outside. Personally, I prefer not to have a tree at all, these money spending related traditions are in the most part unimportant. bah humbug!
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    Nov 15 2011: But we're cutting trees planted for that vert purpose, aren't we?
    • Dec 1 2011: I agree.

      If you're sourcing the offcuts from the lumber industry over the Xmas season you are potentially making that industry more sustainable and profitable.
      How can people who in one breath say we should use corn and wheat stems to make bio fuels, in the other breath, say that we can't reuse from other industries.

      Even if someone is farming xmas trees. I.e. growing them and harvesting as saplings), I think this is also fine, as long as it's done in a 'sustainable' way.
  • Dec 3 2011: Although I do agree with the idea behind your argument, if we say that we shouldn't farm christmas trees to be used for Christmas because they have "rights" to be alive, we might as well say that we shouldn't be farming at all. Don't get me wrong, every living thing has a right to live, but farming inherently requires that we breed them for the ultimate purpose of death.
    But don't get me wrong, I still do agree with the thought behind this, I just think that if you're looking at Christmas trees this way, you have to reevaluate farming and growing things for decoration in general which gets a bit redundant.
    Noble cause though.
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    Nov 17 2011: What a wonderful and necessary idea. This is a must and do hope that at least the people reading this post start and continue it as a tradition from now on. Spreading the message to those that visit us during the hollydays would be helpfull too and it woud be the right time to explain why one is using a live tree instead of a cut off one. I for one will do this from now on. I wonder if there are organizations or private companies that would pick this live trees up after they've served their holliday purpose and then plant them somewhere, even if it was for a fee. We sure have plenty of things we could do to help ourselves in the long run by showing respect to mother Earth. Respect for all living things should be a class that needs to be taught at all levels of any education system, as there is a drastic lack of it. Thank you for your much needed and wonderful idea. And "Feliz Navidad" to all.
  • Nov 15 2011: I agree on the renting or buying a rooted tree and yes, it is a living entity but when you start to place rights on them you must continue by placing rights on all plants etc.That then dominoes into us not having anything to eat. What is right for one living thing is right for all, so where do you draw the line?
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      Nov 16 2011: We are eating living things and all life eats life and that is how the system works and when we die likely we will decompose and return to nature and likely our bodies will be eaten by other living things. I am referring to human callous disregard for the life of the animal, tree, plant, fish etc. We often do not have regard for that life and that is unfortunate. We can and should eat, but we could be less wasteful, many people excessively overeat way past what they need and that hurts themselves and puts excessive pressure on the lifeforms that they are eating. Michelle
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        Nov 16 2011: Michelle, I thank you for having the courage to tackle this critically important topic. Although many have grown up with this mindless tradition, it has needed to be challenged for a long time. All of those who who mindless follow this tradition, need to ask the question, Why am I killing a tree for Christ? In light of the significant over-cutting of the last 50 years, what would Christ do? For God's sake?
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          Nov 16 2011: Thanks for responding Craig, This is an unfortunate tradition. I hope we all stop killing the trees. We have so many issues to deal with I do not know how we will ever correct each problem we cause. Michelle
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    Nov 15 2011: I know that I still have some behaviours that need to be changed but I sure do love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree, the joy it brings. Could I just be a vegetarian for a month to compensate? (But not in December though, OK?)
    Mea culpa! mea culpa!
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      Nov 15 2011: Why can you enjoy the beautiful smell of a live xmas tree with its roots intact. There are companies that sell these trees with their roots and all. You may Google them on the internet: Living Christmas Trees. 33 million trees are cut down each year just in North America alone. We really could just make a simple effort to save them bu buying them with their roots intact, keeping them or returning them to be replanted in the location they were taken from or in an orchard etc. Together we can change the world!