Twelve of our Favorite (Sustainable Living) Things

Oh the sacred and sought after holiday family Christmas Tree; so much to consider when selecting this hallmark symbol of the holidays.  While I have always enjoyed the smell and look of a real tree, viagra canada treat   there was a pang of guilt when using a cut tree. Knowing that it takes 6-7 years for the tree to grow, and then it only stays in our home for six weeks, fills me with environmental remorse.  Artificial trees are an option, but the negative environmental impact of all that plastic and energy consumed when shipping from overseas is something has always been a turn-off. 

So after some extensive research and internal family debate, pilule we made the choice four years ago to start a new tradition of having a living tree in our home every year for the holidays.  This has now evolved into one of our favorite traditions and each year we look forward to not only selecting our tree, but planting it and watching it grow in our yard after the holidays.

For those of you looking for a better solution for your “O Tannenbaum” this season, we hope that one of these suggestions will work for you.

Dark Green: Choose a Live Tree

Every year, we take our holiday tree dollars to the local nursery and purchased a live Western Red Cedar.  Other types of conifers that work well as living Christmas Trees are Spruce, Douglas Fir, and White Pine.  Live trees come complete with a large root ball, but this is manageable to get it home with a little help from the nursery staff and a lot more twine.  Once home, we “plant” the tree in a big, galvanized bucket and cover it with mulch.  The tree lives in the bucket until after the holiday when it is planted somewhere in our yard.  If you bring your tree indoors, ease the temperature transition by putting it in the garage for a few days before moving it inside and make sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy.  Don’t have a yard to plant the tree in?  Find a friend or organization that will plant it on their property after the holiday.

Medium Green: Choose an Organic Pre-Cut Tree

Growing a commercial pre-cut tree takes time and a lot of management, including the use of herbicides, insecticides, and a lot of water that heavily impacts the environment.  Luckily, there are tree-growers that have started to adopt natural and organic management practices.  Seek out these organic tree farms out with a quick internet search and find out where they deliver or if you can go and cut your own at their farm.  At the end of the season, make sure to properly recycle the tree and consider offsetting the cutting of this tree by re-planting another.

Light Green: Choose a Low-impact Artificial Tree

I know!  It is shocking that I would even list this as a choice but it can be an acceptable one if you know what to look out for.  Artificial trees do prevent the cutting of live trees, but you need to use them for 20+ years to be “carbon neutral”.  If you really want to go this route, look for trees manufactured locally and without polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which produces carcinogens during manufacturing and disposal.  I haven’t been able to find one yet that looks like your typical evergreen, but there are some innovative all-wood models that may work for you. If nothing else, save an artificial tree destined for the landfill.  You can sometimes find them at garage sales or resale shops.

Enjoy the holiday this year, by greening you tree ritual and if this seems all to complicated, you can always adopt the “Festivus Pole” as your family’s new tradition.

 
Oh the sacred and sought after holiday family Christmas Tree; so much to consider when selecting this hallmark symbol of the holidays.  While I have always enjoyed the smell and look of a real tree, sildenafil healing   there was a pang of guilt when using a cut tree. Knowing that it takes 6-7 years for the tree to grow, and then it only stays in our home for six weeks, fills me with environmental remorse.  Artificial trees are an option, but the negative environmental impact of all that plastic and energy consumed when shipping from overseas is something has always been a turn-off. 

So after some extensive research and internal family debate, salve we made the choice four years ago to start a new tradition of having a living tree in our home every year for the holidays.  This has now evolved into one of our favorite traditions and each year we look forward to not only selecting our tree, but planting it and watching it grow in our yard after the holidays.

For those of you looking for a better solution for your “O Tannenbaum” this season, see we hope that one of these suggestions will work for you.

Dark Green: Choose a Live Tree

Every year, we take our holiday tree dollars to the local nursery and purchased a live Western Red Cedar.  Other types of conifers that work well as living Christmas Trees are Spruce, Douglas Fir, and White Pine.  Live trees come complete with a large root ball, but this is manageable to get it home with a little help from the nursery staff and a lot more twine.  Once home, we “plant” the tree in a big, galvanized bucket and cover it with mulch.  The tree lives in the bucket until after the holiday when it is planted somewhere in our yard.  If you bring your tree indoors, ease the temperature transition by putting it in the garage for a few days before moving it inside and make sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy.  Don’t have a yard to plant the tree in?  Find a friend or organization that will plant it on their property after the holiday.

Medium Green: Choose an Organic Pre-Cut Tree

Growing a commercial pre-cut tree takes time and a lot of management, including the use of herbicides, insecticides, and a lot of water that heavily impacts the environment.  Luckily, there are tree-growers that have started to adopt natural and organic management practices.  Seek out these organic tree farms out with a quick internet search and find out where they deliver or if you can go and cut your own at their farm.  At the end of the season, make sure to properly recycle the tree and consider offsetting the cutting of this tree by re-planting another.

Light Green: Choose a Low-impact Artificial Tree

I know!  It is shocking that I would even list this as a choice but it can be an acceptable one if you know what to look out for.  Artificial trees do prevent the cutting of live trees, but you need to use them for 20+ years to be “carbon neutral”.  If you really want to go this route, look for trees manufactured locally and without polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which produces carcinogens during manufacturing and disposal.  I haven’t been able to find one yet that looks like your typical evergreen, but there are some innovative all-wood models that may work for you. If nothing else, save an artificial tree destined for the landfill.  You can sometimes find them at garage sales or resale shops.

Enjoy the holiday this year, by greening you tree ritual and if this seems all to complicated, you can always adopt the “Festivus Pole” as your family’s new tradition.

 
As we wrap up the year, generic viagra prostate our family likes to reflect on our favorite sustainable living products that we discovered this year and that made our quest to live a life with less impact easier.  And in true holiday style, order we have selected twelve of our can’t-live-without favorites in honor of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Some of these products make great stocking stuffers so if you are looking for affordable, last minute gifts, hopefully this serves as inspiration.

  1. Niagara Conservation Showerheads: Save energy and water (and money) with the #1 high-efficiency showerhead. You won’t notice that you are using less.
  2. To-Go-Ware Bamboo Utensil Set: Every family member has a least one of these in their backpack, car and/or purse.  Sustainable silverware so you can just say no to plastic when you are out and about.  I take mine when I travel – TSA friendly.
  3. Theo Chocolates: The only organic, fair trade, bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the United States.  And they make fabulous chocolate and are local (for us).
  4. Doggie Dooley: Man’s new best friend is a solution for his best friend.  Take care of pet waste in a way that won’t pollute the environment or add tons of baggies to landfills.  You still have to scoop but it is the best way to handle the poop.
  5. Skoy Cleaning Cloths: Say goodbye to paper towels forever!  We love using these cleaning cloths that are made from soy, work better than paper, do the work of 15+ rolls of paper towel, and biodegrade.
  6. Crown Bees: We all need bees to pollinate our food and one native Mason Bee does the work of 200 honey bees.  We introduced these to our yard and saw the bee-nefit in one season.  And because they don’t sting, you don’t need a suit to care for them.
  7. Territorial Seed Company: Whether you are planting a full veggie garden or just a few herbs on your windowsill, these seeds have been curated from backyard gardens and brought to you by this privately held, family owned business.
  8. Organic Essence Lip Balm: Pure, organic, natural ingredients with no preservatives or colors, make this luxurious lip balm.  And it is packed in an “Eco Tube” that has no plastic and bio-degrades in your home’s compost pile.
  9. Flip & Tumble Reusable Produce Bags: Add this to your grocery shopping habits along with your reusable totes.  Used instead of the plastic produce bags and keeps food safe and fresh and the grocery store checkout staff can still see what is inside.
  10. SpringLight CFL: Lower your energy bills with the quick and ease swap out of your indecent bulbs with this line-up of compact fluorescents.
  11. Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaning Products: When you can’t make your own cleaning products (or don’t want to), we have been very impressed with the performance of these products without harsh chemicals.
  12. Vapur Water Bottle: Never buy bottled water again.  These reusable “anti-bottles” are fun, freezable and fold up to fit in your purse or backpack.

 

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One thought on “Twelve of our Favorite (Sustainable Living) Things

  1. Kati

    What a great idea. I love the reusable produce bags – definitely going to pick up some of those for Christmas this year!

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