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green/grēn/

What does green mean to us? The definition used to be so simple… it’s  a colour………often one we think of, when someone says… trees.

Of the color between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.

But now, in our lifestyles, design, food and drink, we are often thinking of the recurring question… is this green? Am I being environmentally responsible in my choices? My husband runs a carbon neutral company, and so we are often faced with making decisions on the basis of their sustainability, such as his decision to give up beef for a year. (Watch this space….).  With it being our first Christmas in New York, we did opt for a small evergreen tree, which we were told would be recycled for mulch. Ok, so we were being responsible. And it was only tiny, after all.

Look at this image of a local street in Brooklyn. It’s SO sad. Only days after the holiday season has finished, there are  piles of trees are all over the streets, tossed away, unwanted. For some, their job was up on Boxing Day, stripped of decorations and lights. I feel ashamed I was a part of this.

What has really hit home to me about this sad image, is how wasteful it is. The needles on these trees have not even begun to turn brown or fall off. For some, their job was only a few days long. What a pointless waste of cutting a tree down.

I know Christmas is over, and I should maybe be talking about something else, but I thought perhaps in preparation for next year, and seeing as we are all complaining about how odd the weather has been due to global warming, it might just be time for us to take a long hard look at this sad image, and plan for something a little more ‘green’, rather than the millions of unwanted evergreens we are wasting.

I have done a little bit of research, and come across some fantastic ideas for next year… so just in time, at the end of November 2012  – I’ll refer to this informative post, and you can all do your bit to slow down global warming.

Some very clever Aussie graphic designers, called Buro Design have come up with this fabulous eco tree….. 

You might look into recycled bottle trees, paper trees, coathangers and any other such throwaway material that can be re  – styled in to a tree shape and decorated. An utterly inspiring idea in this town in Lithuania  was a full scale recycled tree all from plastic bottles in the town square.

I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to see how sad all the discarded trees look… I hope my sharing touches you in the same way. Next year,any decoration I choose to add to my home will be completely sustainable. I’ll even demonstrate how you can create your very own and super stylish ‘Christmas Corner’, if you are still reading. For those of you who can’t live without a real tree, there is always an option to rent one… in a pot, so it can go back to being a tree after Christmas, instead of a pile of wood chippings.

And one last little word, whilst we are on the subject – for a city where every other person says ‘Happy Holidays’ to avoid offending anybody not celebrating Christmas…… there are an AWFUL lot of unwanted trees thrown away round here.. shame on you!

For more green decorating ideas:

thedailygreen.com

care2.com

inhabitat.com

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. So sad! What a wasteful society we are and Christmas is such a gluttonous time of excess. Gift packaging and wrapping is so wasteful too. This article is great food for thought.

    January 13, 2012

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