22 December 2011

Adopt a Tree

We stumbled across a fantastic idea last Christmas and were happy to take part.  For some reason, it is common here in the Netherlands to sell Christmas trees with their root balls intact.  So, essentially, you take a plant home in a pot and hope for the best.  I have had friends tell me they can sometimes get the tree to make it through the year in a pot and be used again the next Christmas, and I think that's a great idea.

We happened to find an even better solution.  A farm close to our house offers Christmas trees for adoption.  A more accurate term would be for rent, but I would agree with the owners that adoption sounds nicer.

Here's how it works:  you choose a tree to take home.  They dig it up, cover the root ball, and plop it in a pot.  They tag the tree with a number and keep your information on file.  After Christmas, you return the tree.  They replant it and care for it all year, and then you have the option of adopting the same tree the following Christmas. When you choose the tree you are provided with an instruction sheet on how to care for it to ensure its health for the month it will spend indoors.

Brilliant, isn't it?

The farm claims they have a 75% survival rate, which is a whole lot more than the 0% survival of trees that were cut.  I would bet the rate is also higher than people who try to keep their trees alive in a pot all year, because the roots must get tired of being scrunched up all the time.

So, back to our story.  Last year we picked out a tree.  The Bigs named him Harry.  We brought him home and returned him just like we were instructed.  This year, we returned to find Harry had thrived.  He had tiny new buds all over him.  We were all very happy to see him, and he's now hanging out in our living room, overwhelmed with beads and ornaments.

This is the most sustainable solution I've found for the dilemma of Christmas trees as a disposable item. I'm wondering if anywhere in the states does this?  If not, I know exactly what kind of business I am going to open when we move back home.

1 comment:

  1. really great, http://Forest-of-Peace.org have a sustainable approach

    intelligent Child Teak Education Trust — Invest in the Future of our Children

    Not pos­si­ble?

    iCTET — intel­li­gent Child Teak Edu­ca­tion TrustA Project by For­est of Peace.org

    If you ever wanted to secure a voca­tional or higher edu­ca­tion for your child or help young par­ents towards their children’s edu­ca­tion, you should read on. For­est of Peace gives you the means to secure the future edu­ca­tion of chil­dren you care about and at the same time con­tribute to a health­ier envi­ron­ment (trees are essen­tial com­po­nents for clean air). Your invest­ment sup­ports the growth of a tree for 15–18 years (depend­ing on cli­mate) and once matured, the pro­ceeds of the tim­ber will be used fully for the voca­tional or higher edu­ca­tion of a child of your choice or, if For­est of Peace is entrusted to select a child, any child in need of support.

    Your con­tri­bu­tion today secures an edu­ca­tion for
    a young adult tomorrow.

    read more..