The Christmas tree chain saw massacre and it’s not just in Texas

I wrote and published this blog below almost a year ago now and in a month’s time it will be Christmas again. Since then we’ve had COP26 take place in Glasgow warning us that devastating climate change could arrive much more quickly than first envisaged. If we want to tackle climate change then one way to do so would be for communities to come together to plant Christmas trees in their villages, town and cites. That way they can be decorated each year reducing CO2 emissions, plastic pollution, energy use and excessive consumption on a finite planet.

Many of us have enjoyed them in the past. It seems a perfectly natural thing to do but buying one of the trees in this photo means bringing a dying thing into our houses. We rarely think about the fact that where these trees are grown was perhaps a natural woodland or forest before but that it has now become a mono culture for a human tradition. The original land cleared and nature disrupted with many living creatures killed or chased away before this one species planted. By removing what was there before CO2 was released adding to our greenhouse gas emissions. Then the growing of these trees starts and they take a number of years to grow before they can be harvested for the single Christmas season. In that time in the majority of cases large amounts of pesticides will be used to ensure that the Christmas trees we buy are bug free and look good. When they are harvested and in the US alone that’s between 25 and 30 million each Christmas, https://www.beyondpesticides.org/programs/center-for-community-pesticide-and-alternatives-information/pesticide-free-holidays/christmas#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Center%20for,carbaryl%2C%20chlorpyrifos%2C%20and%20dimethoate., the fossil fuel chain saw massacre begins. At that time all the birds, animals and insects that have survived the chemical onslaught either die or are chased away. Harvesting Christmas trees makes a lot of creatures homeless. Then there’s all the fossil fuel used getting them from where they grew to our houses and after Christmas all the CO2 released when they decompose or worse still are burnt. That’s not to forget that if they were still growing they would still be soaking up CO2 and as a generalisation older trees soak up more CO2. So overall buying a dying tree is not very environmentally friendly so why not celebrate this Christmas by decorating or just giving a hug to a local tree. They are all working damn hard to fix the damage that us humans are doing to the planet.

Author: paulpaddington

Author of books for children. Eight published so far and working on several others.

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