To tree or not to tree...

by Amy Edelman

I am a tree hugger and I have a real Christmas tree in my house. It didn’t occur to me that it might seem contradictory to some till my friend Peri called me out. She flipped when I told her we got a tree.

I thought she was offended because I am Jewish. Apparently it was my environmentalism that was in question. The truth is I never really thought about a fake tree versus a real one. My family had Christmas trees since I was a wee tot, and I love the pine smell and the warm and fuzzy feeling of Christmas — who doesn’t?

I explained that Christmas trees are raised on farms specifically for this purpose. When the holiday is over we will bring the tree to one of the city’s TreeCycling events. A number of neighborhood environmental groups all over the city are hosting TreeCycling events including GReenINChestnutHill (GRINCH).

Last year, residents of Mt Airy and Chestnut Hill brought over 150 trees, diverting them from landfills and turning them into mulch. An important goal of environmentalists is to reduce the amount of waste that goes into methane producing landfills. By taking your Christmas tree to a TreeCycling event in the city, the tree avoids the landfill and gas guzzling trash trucks.

GRINCH and the Mt Airy Business Assoc. are organizing this year’s TreeCycling event on Sunday Jan. 9th from 1-4pm at the corner of Mt Airy Ave and Chew Ave. For a $5 donation they will chip our tree (and your tree) which will be used for mulch. It’s like composting–win-win.

If I were a complete purist I would not get a tree at all. The truth is my very existence as a consuming human is not ideal for the health of the planet. So I am doing what I can, attempting to be thoughtful about my consumption, reduce my carbon footprint and consider future generations while enjoying the holidays. Merry Christmas!

Amy Edelman is the owner of The Night Kitchen Bakery and is a co-founder of GRINCH (Green in Chestnut Hill).