Earth Calendar for December 5th and December 6th

Dec 5, 2012

The real verses artificial  Christmas tree debate replays itself year after year.  

Just a few short decades ago, displaying a Christmas tree in your living room really only yielded one option: a real pine or fir tree. That all changed when a U.S.-based toilet bowl brush manufacturer, the Addis Brush Company, created an artificial tree from brush bristles in the 1930s, acting as the prototype for modern artificial trees.  The Pros and Cons of Artificial. Guilt. Many have made it the sole reason to invest in an artificial tree. The thought of cutting down a new tree each year can put a damper on the holidays for some.  Also, cost, convenience and environmental impact are other reasons consumers opt for an artificial tree.  Given the current economic climate, artificial trees may be especially appealing for their investment value when compared with the recurrent, annual expense of a real Christmas tree. Their convenience is also appealing to consumers as they don't need watering, don't leave pine needles all over the floor and transportation from tree farm to home isn't an issue.  But many experts believe artificial trees actually have a greater negative environmental impact when all aspects of an their life cycle are considered.  Today's artificial trees are typically manufactured with metal and PVC, a non-biodegradable, petroleum-derived plastic. In addition, many older varieties may contain lead, used as a stabilizer in the manufacturing process.  Despite their PVC contents, artificial trees are non-recyclable and non-biodegradable, meaning they will sit in a landfill for centuries after disposal.  Furthermore, approximately 85% of artificial trees sold in the U.S. are imported from China according to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), adding to their overall environmental footprint.

On Our Calendar: Volunteer birders are invited to join the annual census of the birds living in the Hamilton County Parks. Park District staff and volunteers will lead groups at all parks from 8:00 am until 3:30 pm. At 4:15 pm, there will be a grand tally at Winton Woods. Counters will have a chance to win door prizes! December 8th, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Registration ends December 6th . For information and registration for the Annual Winter Bird Count, visit the website.