The sacrificed tree
I’m not a hardcore environmentalist, but in my small, insignificant life, I like to pay respect to everything around me and to cause as little damage as possible. Many of you might know already that I am not a big fan of the Christmas holidays. Ever since I was a child, I didn’t care much about the presents, the festive food and decorating the Christmas tree.
Over the years, I got more used to this annual tradition and now, I let my heart defrost around the holiday season. But, there is one thing that I cannot warm up to and one thing that I wish people became more conscious about. I’m talking about the tradition of having a real tree for Christmas. I am usually a laissez-faire type of person, but this is an issue screaming for attention… our attention.
Last year, 7 pine trees appeared overnight on my street. All of them were tied up to the light poles with cheap, transparent duct tape. There was absolutely nothing festive about them. These trees looked out of place… They were tied up to the metallic poles like prisoners awaiting for their sentence. You could feel their pain just by looking at their rootless trunk against the cold cement and their green needles sprayed with cheap red paint. My street looked like a Christmas crime scene or a Red Light district for trees that have been forced into this business to make other people feel joy.
But the story doesn’t end here. After the Christmas holidays, there’s another round of depressing sites, when you see entire streets full of dried up trees, no longer needed to satisfy our Christmas spirit. Something that takes years to grow, is being sacrificed in a few seconds, for a few moments of pleasure.
For the past 3 years, we have a plastic Christmas tree that we received for free from Freecycle. It is green, reusable and we are more than happy with it. It does its job well and at the end of the day, I am happy I didn’t spend at least 60 euros on something that is going to die in a few days. It is a small step towards changing our views on traditions and nature, but it makes me feel good doing it.
Before buying your Christmas tree this year, please think about it. Leave the tradition aside, the nice smell of the tree, the aspect of it all, and think about the bigger picture. Is it worth cutting a tree for 3 weeks of pleasure? If more of us thought about the bigger picture, I am sure we could make a bigger difference in this world. It is us, the customers and consumers, that keep these traditions alive. I am convinced that together we can reduce the amount of trees that are cut without any real reason.
Happy holidays everyone!
Photo credits: Anamaria Olaru
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