I was not the most popular person in our house a year or two ago when I suggested we should get an artificial Christmas tree.But it was the right thing to do. A Christmas tree is a dead tree and as with all dead things it quickly begins to fall apart. Eventually, you take it to the tip and hope it gets recycled. You get rid of it until next year when you buy another one. “We must have a real Christmas tree. It’s what God would have wanted!” Anyway, having an artificial tree is far better for the environment, right? Hmm. I’ll take a rain check on that one.
The God character wouldn’t give a toss about the type of tree you get. That’s because the Christmas tree, as with just about everything to do with the festive season, has nothing to do with the old boy. But if we are going to save the world, I’ve got some bad news for, well, me. Real trees are, if we dispose of them properly, less damaging for the environment than artificial ones. Let’s look at the evidence.
The words doing the heavy lifting here are “less damaging for the environment”. For the hard of thinking, this means that buying any kind of tree, real or fake, is bad for the environment, just that a real tree is likely to have a lower carbon footprint. In other words, don’t have one at all.
In reality, most of us will still get a tree, we’ll buy presents that people don’t want and we’ll eat and drink far more than we need to. So, what can we do to slow the inexorable rush to hell on a handcart?
Once more, the Carbon Trust has a shed load of ideas. And if we adopt even just a few of them, we can actually make a difference. A small difference that, I acknowledge, that will only slightly slow climate change and global warming and certainly not stop or, God forbid, reverse it all together.
Just our luck that Christmas coincides with a general election campaign between some of the worst and most incompetent politicians of our lifetimes, bereft of ideas and vision, caring only for their own political futures and nothing else. So, it’s up to us.
We’re stuck with a fake tree and I can’t undo that, but I hope we can play a part in stopping the insanity that is destroying our planet.
May I be the first person to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Not a white one, though: a green one.