Green-Friendly Options for the Holidays
Eco-oriented tips for disposing of your trees
Want to "go green" for the holidays?
It's harder during the Christmas season considering on average, Americans dispose of 8,000 tons of wrapping paper, 38,000 miles of ribbon and almost two billion greeting cards in December.
But the venerable Christmas tree is one part of the holiday tradition that offers some eco-friendly options.
"We definitely sell more cut trees than potted ones," said Kacey Cloues, store manager at GardenHood, an independent retail plant nursery in Grant Park.
"Our intown customers want to be good stewards of the land, but they have small lots."
So what do you do with a potted tree that can grow 40 to 60 feet tall?
You can donate it to a non-profit organization such as Trees Atlanta
The group, which plants and maintains trees in Atlanta and advocates for green space conservation, will accept your live tree at its Reynoldstown headquarters at 225 Chester Ave.
You will have to call 404-522-4097 to schedule a drop-off time. The donation also may qualify for a tax deduction.
Is a cut tree eco-friendly?
"It really depends on what you do with your tree afterward," Cloues said. "If you let the tree decompose or use it for soil erosion control, it can be nearly as green as a live tree."
A cut tree also can serve as a temporary wildlife habitat. Use orange slices, suet and seed to help attract birds. The tree branches will serve as welcome shelter.
GardenHood educates its customers on recycling options.
"No one wants to feel like they're being wasteful," Cloues said.
Several Home Depot locations will recycle trees in January.
Go to www.earth911.org to search for additional drop-off locations of groups and organizations accepting trees post-holiday.