Monday, 23 July 2012

Think of the trees

I'm back... did you notice I'd gone? Sorry for all the quiet around here. I've now got a million ideas for blogs, a million ideas on my to-do list and not enough time in the day to get anything done! Well, at least I have ideas.

I've just got back from a couple of weeks of semi-holiday. I actually went to work for 4 of the last 10 working days, but it was broken up by taking sporadic days off and an extra-long weekend (or is that a short-week?) with my parents. And this is where the purpose of my post comes from. I don't have any wonderful organisational tips, progress updates (haha more like negative progress as there appear to be over 300 emails still in my inbox), but I do have this:

Before you buy a tree this Christmas think about where it came from and where it will end up.

Oh dear. Yes the word Christmas is in there. But before you roll your eyes and run away in horror bare with me. Maybe I'm the only person who thinks about this, but each year when I think "oh how I would love a real tree that smells of pine and fills the house with far more joy than a fake tree does" I then realise that chopping a tree off with no roots after upwards of 10 years of growth is criminal. Especially if it then goes to landfill. I really don't understand why we do this. The world has acknowledged that wood is an important resource, that it should be cherished, recycled, reclaimed and reused, but we chop down trees for Christmas with no hesitation! At least most local councils in the UK now offer post-Christmas collections of trees which are then mulched or some such, but surely it would be better to have a tree with roots.

After going on and on about this for years I now have a solution. While at my parents this last week I pilfered a spruce seedling from their garden. Its in a pot now, ready for its roll come Christmas. It is only a foot tall, so I guess we'll have to wait a few years before it really comes into its own, but I'm prepared to wait. Out of season it will live, in a pot, on my patio being fed and watered and loved. And it won't end up in landfill. When it gets too tall for the house, we'll plant it out into the garden or chop it down and use it for something (no idea what yet!). But I won't buy a new, rootless tree year after year.

So before you go out and buy yourself a £50 Christmas tree this winter, think about why you are doing it and is it really worth it? Could you not keep one in a pot all year round?

On a related note my Dad had a great idea for anyone wanting to set up a Christmas-seedling scheme. Dig seedlings up, pot them up, sell at a reduced amount, but with a return deposit (like the good old fashioned glass recycling schemes). Then after Christmas people return their potted trees, receive a refund and the nursery plants them back in the ground for next year. There is quite a large labour cost, but you wouldn't have to grow trees from ground level for 10 years to flog them, and the repeated digging up would restrain the rate of growth. Sorted. Let me know if you are interested ;-)

Thanks for reading my random ramblings about Christmas in July... but do remember those trees!

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