It’s that time of year to fill landfills with wrapping paper, plastic packaging, and emptied gift cards. What is a sustainable farming family to do?
Making the holidays more eco-friendly for the planet and our family has been a process. Gradually switching to growing our own foods and storing them away for the winter, choosing to shop for clothes at thrift stores rather than retail outlets, and this year, using natural decor when decorating the house.
This past spring and summer we’ve brought wildflowers in to brighten up a room. This Thanksgiving we made garland out of real leaves, and brought in dried grasses to fill our vases. But now winter is here. The flowers have died. The garden is emptied. Things outside are brown and gray.
Except for the evergreens.
I love evergreens! White pine. Balsam. Canaan. Fraser. Scotch. Our young family has begun a tradition of trudging through the snow to find the perfect Christmas tree, chopping it down and hauling it indoors. We trim off a few bottom branches of our tree to make fresh swags for the window sills and door frames.
Choosing a real Christmas tree from a tree farm is definitely a good choice for making your holiday decor more sustainable.
1. It’s not like chopping down a tree from the woods- the tree farmer must plant several trees to keep his inventory for every one that is chopped down.
2. It takes an average of 7 years to grow a Christmas tree to a harvestable height. This means birds and other wildlife can flourish in-between all the growing trees.
3. No toxic holiday candles are necessary when you choose to bring a live evergreen into your home. The sweet scent of a pine brings the fresh forest indoors.
4. Christmas trees are naturally a pesticide-free crop and are trimmed by hand. (Some commercial tree farmers spray-paint their trees green which can easily be avoided by making sure the bark is brown—not painted green!)
5. After Christmas, live trees can be chopped up and used as mulch. Or the branches can be made into a birdhouse for your yard.
How is your family choosing to make Christmas decor more sustainable this year?
Find a Local Christmas Tree Farm:
-Guest post from Nikki Hart. She is a mommy to six country kids on five acres in Northern Indiana and a sweet friend of mine!
Nikki's parents own a Christmas tree farm in Northwest Indiana. If you would like to visit their farm and pick out a beautiful tree, click on The Wellsand's Place below or go to www.wellsandsplace.com.