Recycle Your Christmas Tree!

Once the Christmas festivities are over for the year, what do you do with your real Christmas tree? For those who invested in a living tree, now is a great time to select a place in the garden to plant your tree or topiary. Our winters here are so mild that there will be plenty of time for the tree to establish itself before spring is upon us. If you purchased a fresh cut tree for your celebration, you have options to reuse your tree to help your garden for the rest of the year. The City of Tucson sponsors a TreeCycle for the first several weeks following Christmas. During this period, you can drop your Christmas tree off at any one of the designated locations around Tucson to have it turned into mulch which the city will use to help control erosion and in other environmental projects. The service is absolutely free. Just make sure to have all lights, ornaments, and tinsel removed from the tree before dropping it off. Click here to get more information on this recycling effort.

After the holidays are over, what are some other ways you recycle your tree and other decorations? I'd love to hear about it! Leave me a post in the comments section or contact me. LaFleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora can offer a complimentary consultation to help you decide how to incorporate sustainable plants to enhance your garden space.

What Do You Prefer: Artificial or Real?

I attended a holiday party last week and was pleasantly surprised to see the host of the party had put up a real Christmas tree. The smell and look of a real tree captivated me. It's been years since I've had a real tree. In recent years, I've chosen to put up a pre-lighted artificial tree believing my choice was more environmentally conscious. But a little digging on the subject has prompted me to re-examine the matter again. I don't endorse one choice over the other; but I do think it's wise to look at the pro's and con's of both choices before making a decision.

Why Choose a Real Tree?

Besides the wonderful smell and aesthetic beauty of a real tree, forests can become densely populated with fir and pine growth creating a fire hazard. Many federal and local forest service offices provide permits at a very low cost to encourage residents of the region to cut their own fresh tree from the area. Revenue is generated from permit sales and forests are maintained by the practice.

The downside for those of us in regions not over-grown by fir and pine trees, is that trees must either be commercially farmed or trucked in from other growing zones. To grow fir or pine in this region is incredibly taxing to the water table, and would mean introducing non-native, potentially invasive species to the ecosystem. Bringing trees to our region requires the use of large trucks and an excessive amount of fuel to get the cargo here. That equation adds up to literally tons of greenhouse emissions pumped into our atmosphere.

Why Choose an Artificial Tree?

Artificial trees are practical, inexpensive, and can be reused year after year without creating any stress to our delicate desert ecosystem. Most artificial trees now come pre-lit with LED lights for maximum energy savings and a reduced output of emissions. And while not "fireproof," artificial trees do not present the fire hazard real trees do.

But many brands of artificial trees are made from PVC, a material that is known to outgas toxic chemicals in the air, which you breathe in if it's in your home. Many artificial tree manufacturers come from China; again, we're talking about tons of emissions going into the air just to get the product on the shelf.

An Alternative

So should we cancel Christmas? Hardly! I think we just need to be conscientious about how we celebrate. If you love the idea of a living tree, consider purchasing a rosemary shrub that's been trimmed into a conifer shape, or consider a new tradition of making a Christmas tree from a local variety of tree that can be planted after the holidays. If artificial is what you prefer, purchase products without PVC from a manufacturer as close to your home as possible.

What have you done in your home to make Christmas a little "greener?" I'd love to hear about it! Leave me a post in the comments section or contact me. LaFleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora can offer a complimentary consultation to help you decorate your home from the holidays with sustainable plants that enhance the season.

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Dreaming of a Green Christmas

We all have that one person in our lives who is impossible to shop for. Either they have everything, they don't want anything, or are so amazing at holiday shopping you're left intimidated to even try. I know, I know. I've been there too. But this year, I'm taking a new approach to providing a truly unique, one-of-a-kind holiday gift I'm sure will impress that person who's difficult to shop for (and everyone else for that matter!). When thinking of holiday gifts, think green! What could be better than surprising your loved ones with a beautiful, eco-chic floral arrangement from La Fleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora? I will personally create a sustainable arrangement from a blend of local and exotic flora for your special someone. Best of all, I can customize your arrangement to include favorite colors, plants, and flowers. I specialize in making truly living arrangements; my arrangements can be planted in the garden or a container to give your loved one a special reminder of how much you mean to them every time they see it. There is no better way to celebrate those most special people during this most special season than with a living arrangement especially created just for them.

Interested in placing an order before the holiday rush? I'd love to hear from you! Contact me today for complimentary consultation. I look forward to helping you design the perfect living holiday arrangements for your family and friends. Check out La Fleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora for more information.