We are in the countdown of the lovely Christmas season, the ornaments, the lights, the Christmas carols surround us in that atmosphere of peace and love, where related to decoration the Christmas tree is the star.
Personally, I have not put a single adornment for more than five years, but that does not mean I am against it or that everyone should do the same. You have to make smart purchases if you need them, and not on impulse. In addition, you can always find green solutions in this globalized world.
I had always wondered how is the production process of these plastic pieces in the form of a Christmas tree, but so far I had not decided to investigate it in depth.
They are made with PVC and aluminum, materials that by themselves need a production process, and that despite being recyclable, in the form of a Christmas tree they are not.
They usually last in perfect condition around 5 or 6 years, and with detailed care up to 10 years, when it would balance the environmental damage caused by the use of a natural tree recycling it every year. However, these artificial trees end up in landfills, where it is estimated that they take between 200 and 300 years to degrade, leaving a footprint of 40 kg of CO2 emissions, without adding everything that pollutes in material extraction, manufacturing and transportation.
Here is a video about the interesting process of how a Christmas tree is made, very informative!
Despite having Christmas tree factories in several countries, according to the official Xinhua news agency, more than 60% of the Christmas decorations in the world are made in China, in the city of Yiwu, with a population of 2 million people, who work approximately 72 hours per week and earn 400 euros per month . Unbelievable without knowing what Christmas is, they spend the whole year working so that in the West we have decorations at affordable prices.
It is necessary to attend certified plantations, where producers are obliged to reforest in order to recover the cut pine and to be able to continue producing for later years. These plantations help to generate water to aquifers and reduce CO2 without endangering native flora and fauna.
Although it does not make much sense to cut a tree for a decorative object, it is quite a tradition to choose the Christmas tree, but do not let yourself be carried away by emotion. For example, in Mexico it is necessary to be sure that they have the permit issued by the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) (NOM-013-SEMARNAT), which guarantees their legal origin from abroad, although to the extent possible we should try to buy them nationally.
If you live in Mexico, consult the official directory of producers of natural Christmas trees and some points of sale.
It is also a great experience to go with your family to cut your own tree to these nurseries. Some are eco-tourist and offer zip-lines, restaurants and even cabins to spend the weekend. In this way, we support local production and generate employment in rural areas.
It is an upward trend and in my opinion buying a potted Christmas tree is the best choice, since it does not take the life of the tree.
There are from 50 cm to one and a half meters. Having its roots you can transplant it or, what I think is great, rent it where people are responsible for reforesting it. A deposit is paid, they explain the care you must have and ready to bring Christmas life home.
In general, the branches of these pines do not support large weights of decorations, which is a plus, we save time of decoration and storage space (and money).
It is essential to join the collection campaign of each locality to use them as a compost or biofuel, which means 3.5 kilograms of CO2 emissions, against only throwing them away, leaving a footprint of 16 kilograms of CO2 emissions.
Last, but not least, if you are a creative handicraft lover, you can get inspired by one of these ideas by reusing cardboard or recovering wood and make a tree out of your style and personality.
This blog is written based on our experiences and knowledge we have got through the years.
Remember each body and home is unique and requires different times and solutions.
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